Applying lessons learned - two more keyboard iterations

The journey continues ( see previous post for more info... )...  This post is really just for a few folks who had asked for updates. I have learned a few more lessons: Expect it to take 3-4 months ( 100-200 hours ) per full board build - a long feedback loop is just the nature of the game, especially with my availability Expect to get some crucial feature wrong - design for design failure Expect to break parts or have bad solder joints - design for repair Expect to be tempted to rush things If you want to follow along or look for more detail or laughs or horror, I keep a build log in a google doc here:  It's super long, but often updated daily What follows is a brief summary of the keyboard development work between July 2022 and April 2023.  I'll leave out the business analogies ( continuous improvement aside ).  For the curious, the 'mk13' ( mark = old British engineering thing, I think? ) indicates the thirteenth time I started from scratch - and the maths-inclined am

Learning through failure - a keyboard creation journey

tl;dr Built a custom keyboard cuz I have weirdo nerve pain issues.   Learned a lot cuz I failed a lot.   Maybe 'do it right the first time' is a bad frame of mind.   The keyboard ended up being kinda nifty.   It has lights, and a trackball, and QMK, and it helps my issues.   \o/ ( tl;dr is internet lingo that means, too long; didn't read ) Pain as a key ingredient An old proverb says, 'necessity is the mother of invention', and that is how this story begins. Over the last few years, age or stress or something has caught up with me and I developed the need to change my human-to-computer interface.  Mousing changed to trackballing.  The traditional keyboard was swapped out for an ergonomic, and then split keyboard.  Complicated multi-finger-and-hand key combinations were replaced by single keypress macros.  And yet more was still needed. It's often said that change only happens with pain - indeed, the organizations many of us work in seem to apply this as law - an

Notes from 'Customer visits: Building better market focus'

The ever wise  Mr. Saeed Khan  recommended this to me when I mentioned I wanted to better understand the practice of discovering what customers value.  The question, " what is value? " is all well and good to think and talk about, but it's not practical unless you can apply the answers to your day job. Book: The area of product management is one I haven't gotten a lot of exposure to, practically speaking.  Specifically how one actually figures out what jobs customers do and why they do them is something that I need more understanding in.  So here we are, spent some time reading ( finally ), and learned stuff. Tl;dr Customer visits must have a program, an intent, a design - else they, too, are just a good idea that ends up producing waste.  Being successful at these requires that facilitation and interviewing be core capabilities your organization fosters, paired with a designed intention to ha

  Three facets of what I’m looking for… Help people change how they work for the better ( ways of working, technology ); help people change ( coaching ) Help the organization succeed through self-knowledge ( org. climate, org. metrics, mapping ) and a knowledge of their customers ( value ) Finding partners in building a BVSSH ( better value sooner safer happier ) organization ( the statement on models notwithstanding ) Two challenges every organization faces that I want to help and serve in… What do we do? ( value; mission/vision ) How do we do it? ( ways of working; flow ) An ideal job description might contain one or more of…  Descriptive titles: Flow Engineer , "tech-focused WoW Enablement Specialist", Systems Convenor ( Ways of Working Center of Enablement ) Enablement role, with the goal of enabling product teams to improve the ways they work; advisory role around software development practices; pairing with technical process and automation prototyping Works to establis