Patience is More than a Virtue. It’s Hard.

    October 11, 2011 2:40 PM by Linda Rae
    When I wrote earlier blog posts about creating enduring product ideas, I thought about it in general terms.  But when I began thinking about creating products in the semiconductor industry in particular, I realized it takes special, shall we say, fortitude to be a product developer in this sector.

    Lesson: If you’re developing solutions for a cyclical industry like the semiconductor industry, be prepared to be persistent through its ups and downs.

    In a traditional business model, R&D spending is based on the revenues a product is producing; that means too many companies tend to cut back on their development investments when there’s an industry downturn. However, companies that abruptly turn off the “money spigot” when there’s a cyclical downturn simply aren’t in a position to profit from the next market upturn when it arrives. Still worse, they’ve lost credibility with their customers by not being prepared to address their new needs.

    One of the things Keithley does, in addition to long-term planning, is to focus on short-term, fast-response projects, so that when we spot an industry trend, such as organic solar cells, that requires specific measurement capabilities, we can address that opportunity very quickly.