Designing Fiber Passives Is Like Eating Ramen Noodles

During a recent customer meeting, I was asked about the design process at All Systems Broadband. This question reminded me of a New York Times article, and how it relates to what we do. The article written by Nicole Perlroth, “Solving Problems for Real World, Using Design,” focuses on the design school, known as the “,” at Stanford University. Among the problems mentioned in the article was one in which students solved the often-messy process of eating ramen noodles.

For me, the salient point of the article, and how it relates to ASB, is summarized in this passage:

“The school challenges students to create, tinker and relentlessly test possible solutions on their users — and to repeat that cycle as many times as it takes — until they come up with solutions that people will actually use.”

At ASB, we follow this same design philosophy. For example, when creating a new passive device such as a CWDM or DWDM, our engineers spend a great deal of time understanding the network provider’s need before putting pen to paper. Only after a problem definition is agreed to can actual product creation begin.

Further design “tinkering” is enabled using computer designs as well as actual product models throughout the process. Often, enhancements occur through the collaborative work with the service provider.

One might expect that this approach would add a lot of time to the process, but we have found that the communication forged through this customer-vendor teamwork can actually get us results quicker. This leads to a new passive device that provides the required circuits while simultaneously exceeding the performance and quality expectations of service providers and their end-users.

Although it is unlikely that we can help our customers find a better way to eat ramen noodles, we can point to products that have successfully launched new revenue-producing service offerings for network providers.

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