The theme of SolidWorks World this year was “Design With Vision”. As a designer, I know the importance of vision. It is what separates a follower from an innovator. Companies must have vision to create something new, to create something exciting, and to create something that will solve problems. The CEO of SolidWorks, John McEleney, shared 3 thoughts pertaining to designing with vision.
- Great products solve great problems: Engineers solve problems, so it follows naturally that the greater the problem, the greater the solution.
- We must find solutions to answer the “absurdly ideal”: He gave several illustrations to make this point clear. One was the company SawStop. They asked the question, “What if we could design a table saw that cuts wood, but not cut your fingers?” This is an absurd question, but it is one that they came up with an ideal solution for. By designing a table saw that can stop the blade quickly by detecting the change in electrical charge when the blade comes into contact with flesh, they created a great product that solves a great problem
- Nobody gets it right every time: We must have the courage to fail, and the courage to try again. Most great designs don’t occur on the first try. It takes patience and vision.
As I was listening to his speech, my mind was on much more than just designing products. I was also thinking about how this relates to church as well. Our church is in the process of creating a structure to accomplish the vision God has given us. We are literally “designing” a church. Usually this is done before a church starts, but due to the unusual circumstances from which we started, we are doing this as we go.
We have the greatest solution to the greatest need in the world, the need for Christ. Do we approach it with the same passion as an inventor who is trying to solve one of the world’s great problems? We must ask some absurd questions to think about what we are really trying to accomplish. It takes vision and it takes creativity. And we cannot be afraid to try something new and fail. Yes we should seek guidance from God, and yes we must stay Biblically faithful, but we will make mistakes and we will do things that don’t work. When this happens, we need to recognize our mistakes, and keep trying! That is why this site is called Faith Engineer.