Subject: Re: How to run an FSB R&D lab (maybe)
From: Tom Lord <lord@regexps.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 16:09:41 -0800 (PST)



	Nick:

	I think the key issue with this thread is that it would be
	great to waltz into work and hop into a beanbag chair. Your
	laptop on a wireless LAN, sipping your morning
	coffee. Exploring and playing with ideas for a new project, or
	chatting with your co-workers/mentors about the days hacking
	goals, project design specifications, new technologies etc. No
	hard deadlines, or pointy haired bosses breathing down your
	neck.

Those sound like some of the conditions of success.  I think it's also
important not to isolate the scene from deep interactions with the
larger culture.  It's also helpful if the host organization has some
clue about tactical and custodial engineering -- so you can actually
hand off successful projects to those who are best at bringing them to
market, then those who are best at taking care of them in the long
run.

	However, this does not inherently provide any reliable product
	or profitable business model. 

Except in cold fields no R&D program is inherently reliable.


	Not saying one couldn't be created, but the ideal seems a
	self-satisfying "dream job" rather than a planed out design
	for an FSB.

Why presume that good jobs and businesses have to be mutually
exclusive?  

Now that said, even in this dream job, if you want it to work there's
going to be no shortage of days where everyone ties back their hair,
puts on a tie, breaks out the pocket-protectors, and suffers prolonged
and arduous interactions with the line managers.  Heck, that
particular kind of discipline can be fun in moderation -- which is
hopefully why some people take it on as a full-time career.

-t