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Book Review: The Inventor's Dilemma by David J. Gerber

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perl_geek
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Thank you for mentioning this book
perl_geek   4/2/2016 1:48:53 PM
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It was an excellent, scholarly read, about an extraordinary man who isn't as celebrated as he should be. That is despite a significant impact on an implausibly broad range of industries.

It contains lessons for entrepreneurs, engineers, and business people, about innovation, technology, business practices, family life, and personal character.

His legacy seems to have survived an encounter with "professional management", though research on "Gerber" tends to produce a shower of baby food. "Gerber Scientific" is a little more fruitful.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Makes me think of Eric Lidow
Max The Magnificent   2/25/2016 12:39:19 PM
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@TonyTib: Eric Lidow was the co-founder of International Rectifier, and his story has its similarities.

I wish I could have met all these guys -- without being their age, you understand -- perhaps one day when I get my time machine up and running...

TonyTib
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Makes me think of Eric Lidow
TonyTib   2/25/2016 12:32:55 PM
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Eric Lidow was the co-founder of International Rectifier, and his story has its similarities.  He finally retired in 2008 at age 95!

EDN obit here: http://www.edn.com/electronics-news/4405336/Electronics--photovoltaics-pioneer-Eric-Lidow-dies-at-100

 

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Time saver
Max The Magnificent   2/25/2016 11:41:22 AM
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@RGARVIN: It was nice that unlike most modern day 'innovators' that he would mention that it was a group of people that created the format.

From all I've read, Joseph Gerber was a gentleman in the truest sense of the word.

RGARVIN640
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Re: Time saver
RGARVIN640   2/25/2016 11:24:43 AM
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It was nice that unlike most modern day 'innovators' that he would mention that it was a group of people that created the format.

Clive
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Re: Time saver
Clive"Max"Maxfield   2/25/2016 10:42:04 AM
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@RGARVIN: ...Even with its limitations and the newer specifications for PCB data that have come out, the gerber format is still the standard. A testament to his creative genius.

I totally agree -- as I was reading this book, time-after-time I thought "wow -- that's amazing" -- th eterm "genius" is thrown aroudn a lot these days, but Joseph Gerber really was a genius.

Clive
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Re: gerber file book
Clive"Max"Maxfield   2/25/2016 10:39:44 AM
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@Traneus Rex: I thought the format was named after the company, and the company named after its founder.


I emailed David (Joseph's son) to ask about this -- and he responded as follows (he said I could post this here):

Hi Max. I don't know. I doubt that the "naming" was formal, official, or even intentional. Since the "Gerber Format" was part of the photo plotter systems offering, my dad conceived the photo plotter, my dad ran the company, the company bore his name, and many people at the company contributed importantly to this innovation as part of a team effort, I'd suppose that you could say the Gerber Format was "named after" either or both. The company as an entity, and and my dad and many of the company's other employees, were tied together by relationships that would defy even the best legal draftsman or business organization consultant. For the company's hundreds of products, my dad would have said (and did say) innovation was a cross-the-board effort at the company. I hope this helps. Best, David

Clive
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Re: gerber file book
Clive"Max"Maxfield   2/25/2016 10:39:42 AM
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@Traneus Rex: I thought the format was named after the company, and the company named after its founder.


I emailed David (Joseph's son) to ask about this -- and he responded as follows (he said I could post this here):

Hi Max. I don't know. I doubt that the "naming" was formal, official, or even intentional. Since the "Gerber Format" was part of the photo plotter systems offering, my dad conceived the photo plotter, my dad ran the company, the company bore his name, and many people at the company contributed importantly to this innovation as part of a team effort, I'd suppose that you could say the Gerber Format was "named after" either or both. The company as an entity, and and my dad and many of the company's other employees, were tied together by relationships that would defy even the best legal draftsman or business organization consultant. For the company's hundreds of products, my dad would have said (and did say) innovation was a cross-the-board effort at the company. I hope this helps. Best, David

Clive
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Re: gerber file book
Clive"Max"Maxfield   2/25/2016 10:10:11 AM
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@Traneus Rex: I thought the format was named after the company, and the company named after its founder.

Hmmm -- now you are making me wonder -- I just assumed the format was named after Joseph Gerber, but you may be correct -- I'll email his son to ask him about this and post a follow-up comment.

RGARVIN640
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Time saver
RGARVIN640   2/24/2016 11:14:11 PM
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 As one who spent a couple of my early years laying out PCB's with tape at 4X size and then photographicaly reducing them to size, the gerber output from PC Cad systems was a great timesaver. Even with its limitations and the newer specifications for PCB data that have come out, the gerber format is still the standard. A testament to his creative genius.

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