Our engineering ratchet

Quietly, over the last thirty years, engineering has become dramatically more efficient and effective.

Insulated glass, cars that don't break down, keyboards with just the right feel to them… Mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering are all moving faster than ever.

Several factors are at work:

  1. Computer aided design and engineering means that smaller teams can do more, faster.
  2. The internet shows engineers the state of the art immediately, so everyone is working off the latest benchmark.
  3. Markets are more open to levelling up… new innovations that translate to productivity are adopted more easily.
  4. There's an expectation that better is possible, so organizations are hooked on seeking out better. The ratchet turns the ratchet.

When we're in the middle of it, we don't see it. But travel back in time just a bit and you'll see that few things worked as well as they do now.