My family was government cheese and peanut butter poor when I was growing up1. But our family of seven had a roof over our heads and a car for getting to work. And if something went wrong, we never called anyone to fix it. My dad would roll up his sleeves, grab what few tools he had, and tell me to go help him.2
One of the world’s most successful company right now is Apple. With yearly profits of around $30 billion, it is the most profitable company, earning more money than even oil companies like ExxonMobile.
A big reason for its success is the iPhone, generating more than half of its revenues. The iPhone is a technological marvel, full of magic and made from the tears of rainbow unicorns. With seemingly an App for everything, there’s almost nothing that it can’t do. It spawned a revolution in smart phones. Billions of iPhones and Android smart phones have been sold in the last few years.
Things escalated recently. Technical jargons were thrown, tests conducted, graphs plotted, and favorite measurement units disparaged (“MPG or die!” “Viva le liters/100km!”). Yes, things can get ugly with engineers during lunch-time discussions, especially if one of them can speak French.
I was playing around with Excel the other day, as engineers who obsessively collect data are wont to do. I had plotted an interesting convergence—three of my cars (if I count my wife’s) had almost the same mileage last week.
The mileage of my Honda Civic was overtaken by my wife’s Subaru Legacy, which was later overtaken by my Subaru STI. This took over 148,300 miles and 15.3 years of meticulous planning to achieve (note: no actually planning conducted).