People Don’t Know What They Want…

People don’t know what they want until you tell them.

Steve Jobs

I don’t know if the quote above is exactly accurate, but it gets the message across. In the corporate world, I invented several software tools, now called apps, for my 300-person engineering R&D team. The money the company saved from just one of those apps paid by my salary for my thirty-year career.

Part of my basic persona is that I am a person who is constantly trying to improve things. The first time I do something it is never right, it needs improvement. I have an internal joke about myself in that everything I invent has to be done three times before it is “right.” That goes for almost every post I write here. They go through at least three edits before they are published, and sometimes several more edits after they are published. 😎 I’m pretty sure this characteristic is part of my Aspie traits that I am kinda proud of.

Getting to the point of this post, one of the major apps I wrote was something that I thought needed to be done, but no one ever asked for it. I brought up the shell of the idea and presented it to my boss, and he gave me permission to work on it further. A couple of months later it was instituted and made major time savings throughout the division. They didn’t know they needed it until I told them.


Click on picture to see a larger view

It’s been twenty-two years since I left the corporate world, but I think I still got it in this area. When my wife died last July, I moved from a 2500 SF one-hundred-year-old farm house to a 800SF apartment in my retirement community. The thing I missed the most about this move was the 1500 SF barn on the property. When we moved there in 2000 I gutted it and built a workshop for my furniture making business.

I couldn’t just give up that part of my life, so I decided to build a workshop in my apartment. The only place available was the coat closet by the front door. It measures 32 x 44 inches. I am now in the 2nd iteration, but it still needs improvement. I won’t show you a picture until it is done, but it’s coming along nicely.

You can take the man out of his workshop, but you can’t take the workshop out of the man

2 thoughts on “People Don’t Know What They Want…

    1. I have a lot of memories in that barn. When we moved there in 2000, it was full of chicken and horse manure in blocked of stalls. After about a month of cleaning, a good concrete floor was found, and the beginnings of my next business started. I think I had more history in the barn than the house. It was hard to give up, but it was simply time.

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