Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

Design for Mass Production

Thanks to everyone who commented so far, as always your imput is apprieciated (I really mean that.  Its not as much fun to write this if I don’t think anyone is listening.  Well today I am going to again talk about Design.    James, you are absolutely right that my Design 101 page could be used as a proof of a Designer if you apply it to the human body.  I wish I had thought of it.  But I didn’t
Ok anyway…
    For those of you who don’t know I decided when I was about 12 that I was going to be the next Henry Ford.  I’m still working on that, but as I said earlier, design begins first in the mind.
For a long time I have been trying to desing a subcompact car (For you non-auto nuts out there a car that has less than 99 inches between the center of the front wheel and the center of the rear wheel is a sub-compact.)  Sub-compacts are the hardest cars to design in the world.  A mininimist design is not particualry fault tolerant.  In case you have ever wondered why your laptop regularly poops out and your desktop PC keeps chugging, thats why.
  So I have been looking at the different subsystems tring to design a car that can sell for what the last model T did.  The last model T’s sold for about $3000 in 2006 dollars.  I think that no matter how different a car is from others people will buy it if they could get a warrenty and a new car for 3000 bones.
 I’ve got the drivetrain slimmed down about as low as I can see it getting (12 moving parts) Thats engine and transmission together.  I’ve got the body reduced to the cheapest lightest design possible (that could pass a collision test)  ect, ect.  Should get around 60 MPG and have a top speed around 80MPH.   But if I’m right, and if I can prove it by producing it, thats only one car.  How I do I design the rest?
  A concept that changed by life is something called an Index Mutual Fund.  An IMF is a company that exists only on paper.  All it does is buy stocks.  So if I own one share of IMF A, than that one share can be some Google, some GE, some GM, some United Airlines, etc.   Its a great way to share ownership (and wealth).  Well there are lots of mutaul funds.  IMFs are special because of  how they decide what stocks are kept and what stocks get sold.  They just have a rule book.  When a company’s stock meets condition XYZ it the IMF buys it.  If it goes to ABC they sell it.  IMF’s basically give you a place to put money that does whatever the market is doing on average.  (Usually 8% growth yearly.)  Thats a pretty low growth, but it actaully makes you more money that a lot of funds which pay 20% growth.  How is that possible???
    Its something called operational expense.  The operational expense ina Vanguard brand S&P 500 IMF is around 1/10 of 1%.  The operational expense of a some (actively managaged rather rule managed) is over 12% because an “expert” has to be paid to “manage” the stocks.   So I think it might be possible to run a car company (or a government, for that matter) with an absolute minimum of intervation if a clever enough rule structure is imposed.  So heres my ideas for a car company rule structure.
So here it is in its unrefined and naive glory.  The view points of the following people must be considered to make a world class product.
1.  The stock holders profit:
    A. Monthly
    B. Quarterly
    C. Yearly
    D. Five year
    E. 25 year
2. The producers
    A. High level statistics
    B. Production staff product ideas
    C. Production staff production process ideas
    D. Management compensation ideas
3. The Sellers
    A. Increasing volume
    B. Increasing margin
4. The Owner
    A.  All ideas
5. The Maintainers
    A. All ideas

    Any time you make a product you have to BALANCE all these things.  If you don’t you will go broke.  Over focus on 1A will bankrupt you before 1D becomes a problem.  Over focusing on 3A will kill 3B and vice verse.  Over focusing on 4A can kill absolutely everything.  If you don’t have customers you will obviously go broke.  However if you listen to the customer to much you will go broke, as what is in the customers best interest (A car the goes 10,000 MPH, never needs maintainence, gets 1000 MPG and costs a nickle) is NOT in the companies.  All you have to do is figure out a constitutional sort of system to decide who gets gets how much say in each situation and your company will never go wrong.  Its a freemarket of ideas, and by tapping its pulse to make the best product at the best price.

December 9, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Hey I’ll buy your car when you make it. $3000 would be an awesome price for a new car.

    Comment by CC | December 10, 2006 | Reply

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