1. (of a product, idea, etc.) Featuring new methods; advanced and original.
2. (of a person) Introducing new ideas; original and creative in thinking: “an innovative thinker”.
Search the mission and values statements of many companies, the cover
letters and resumes of job seekers, or the position descriptions of
job boards and “innovative” is a common word. Companies strive to be
innovative and they want innovative employees. Career seekers promote
that they are the innovative people companies want.
But how innovative are company managers and employment policies? Are
they really using new methods for compensation? Are their staffing
methods advanced and original? Is the workplace environment creative
For the past 8 years I have worked with some companies that I found to
be truly innovative in securing staffing resources by contracting those
resources and compensating them through a 1099 instead of employing
them and sending a W2.
What made these companies innovative is that they partitioned the
development of technology critical to their companies core competancy
between contracted and employed staffing. They identified and
contracted the development of technology that was core, but generalized
across their product and client market. They employed staffing to validate,
maintain, customize and support the manufacture and marketing of their
The advantage is that they could specialize and optimize their
staffing in both the contracted and employed areas instead of under
hiring or over hiring in either area. This avoided undesirable and
costly staffing reductions and improves time-to-market by avoiding
training and false starts caused by inexperienced or generalized
There are a number of companies looking for innovative staffing to
work on innovative products right now. I am currently looking for the
ones that are also interested in innovative methods for staffing. If I
have reached one in this blog, please give me a call.
Your company probably has an EDA budget that is spent on generating or outright purchasing IP from an EDA/IP vendor. Considering that the EDA software or license, usually, has not only a purchase cost, but an on going support cost with the vendor; and an internal cost to operate or incorporate the purchase into your product, how effective has that experience been? In some cases, generic IP works as expected, in many cases it can take as much effort to work with it as it would have to build it custom. Companies are always faced with make or buy decisions. However often these decisions are hampered by the fact that purchased IP comes from a different budget than compensation for personnel. Why not consider using some of the EDA budget to purchase custom IP? A contracted consultant can develop custom IP that the company owns and is easier to evaluate, incorporate, maintain and re-target than purchased generic IP. And if the contract is written properly it can be funded from the EDA budget instead of the compensation budget.
Look at your electronic company’s product development resources. You can probably categorize 3 types: technologists, implementers and maintainers. Technologists come in two types: generalists and specialists. Implementers come in many flavors platform coders, embedded coders, analog circuit designers, digital designers, RF designers, board designers, component procurers, etc. Maintenance resources include customer support, installation, failure analysis, validation, etc. In a small company many individuals might perform more than one of these roles but even so their product development tasks could likely be categorized in one of the 3 categories. So, when a small company finds themselves short in one of these areas when should they consider contracting to expand their resources versus recruiting new individual employees? I think I have some answers to this question but I would like some feedback on my new blogging endeavor so I am asking the question to the readers. When would you consider contracting a Technology Generalist? Specialist? an Implementer or a Maintaner?