I had an interesting observation this weekend. I realized that we try so hard to eliminate waste that we become more wasteful. You need to be willing to waste materials, time, and money if you are going to do any experimentation that might move the ball further down the road.
For instance, about 18 years ago we were doing a qualification for a company. They sent us a file and we printed it. There was an error in the file, and even though we printed what was in the file, we threw the print away. We fixed the error and printed another. It turns out that the error was deliberate, and they were looking for a vendor that would find and fix it. We are still doing business with them!
Last week I “wasted” an afternoon going to look at a new printer that might solve a problem we’ve been having. I wasted some time trying a new material for banner stands. I signed up for a software service that may turn out to be a waste of time.
What I realized is that we need to be willing to waste if we are going to improve. That’s one of the things that’s kept us in business for 20 years.