Written by: Tony Harris, December 23, 2015




I noted early in my career, in R&D, there would be times when someone would leave the engineering field and transfer into sales & marketing. All of a sudden, everything in their world became easier to accomplish. Those of us left, struggling to define design rules for processes with enormous statistical variations or to productize a transistor that we had only had a couple of wafer runs of, came to the conclusion that there must be some sort of hazing that occurred on joining the marketing department. We believed that the result of the hazing was similar to that which would be achieved by a full frontal lobotomy.

Our Fab manager where I worked was French; he had a quote on his wall “La critique est aisée, et l’art est difficile”. The quote by French dramatist, Philippe Néricault Destouches, literally translates to: criticism is easy and art is difficult.

And so the battle lines were drawn, we in building 140 designing, creating and inventing and those in down the road in building 211 were marketing and selling. They would accuse us of being lazy, ivory tower and irresponsive, we would accuse them of ignorance, stupidity and a desire to sell their grandmother’s coffin, if they could make a buck.

Of course what happened as battle lines were drawn and silos established was that the customer was forgotten. To us in R&D he/she was the unfortunate detractor to those in S&M he/she was the slave driver, perhaps the dominatrix.

So how was the conundrum resolved? How did the Berlin Wall come down?


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