Electronic Design

Does The Fire Burn And The Wonder Still Exist?

Every day I get calls, e-mails, and faxes from companies that have developed something new and exciting. Not every product is as revolutionary as some companies believe, but they all bring a fresh level of excitement and optimism about where that technology can take the industry.

Innovation is the driving force in the electronics industry. New features get incorporated into chips, radical end-user products are made possible with new chips or software, and still other developments promise to bring various benefits. The passion of the product designers and "evangelists" often creates waves of adoption as their message reaches the targeted audiences.

The enthusiasm that these people bring to the industry stems from their fervent belief that they have developed something great. Their self-generated drive comes from their love of what they do and for the technology. Much of that love, or passion to create, is what drove us to become engineers. To a good percentage of us, that probably occurred when Ipo referred to a current parameter in a data sheet, rather than an initial public offering. Creating something out of nothing, pushing the limits on performance to another level, or inventing the next super mousetrap are the thrills that drove many of us to become and encouraged us to remain engineers.

Can we sustain that enthusiasm and still say "wow" when something comes together just right? Perhaps, instead, we have lost some of that ability to be impressed and yes, maybe even amazed, at some work done by our peers throughout the industry. There exists too the question for the more-recent graduates joining the workforce. Are you joining because you fervently believe that you can help change a small piece of the world, or are you just biding time, waiting for the company to go public, to collect your first million or so, and then retire?

Staying passionate about your work is getting harder in this era where people can become instant paper millionaires through IPOs or company acquisitions. Around almost every corner lurk temptations to change companies, start a new company, or alter career paths to try and become the next millionaire. Are we now substituting greed for passion due to the economic temptations we see in front of us?

I tend to be a bit more into the ideas of the "old school." That means once you find something you really like and how you can add your unique value to it, then you stay with it. I'm driven by my excitement about technology to discover ways to write about its most interesting developments and provide them to you, our readers. What drives you? I wonder what industry challenges and forces there are that make you passionate about what you do and how you channel that into something positive. I'd like to know if creativity and challenge are still the key reasons for you to continue in this field.

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