Using Royalties to Pay for Engineering Services At Cardinal Peak, we are willing to include royalties as part of our compensation under certain circumstances, but there are powerful constraints limiting our appetite for such deals. So in this post, I’ll explain a few of our reservations about royalties.
Why We Engage on a Time-and-Materials Basis When a prospective customer calls us, they generally have one of two engagement models in mind: time and materials (T&M), or fixed price. This post explains why Cardinal Peak strongly prefers T&M engagements to FP ones — and why savvy customers should, too.
Five Tips for Writing Good Bug Reports We normally take the humble bug report for granted, but getting your company to write good bug reports is one of the cheapest and easiest ways you can increase product quality and shorten development schedules. That’s because, when a bug report is poorly worded or doesn’t include all the key information, it takes a lot… View Article
Older Engineers: Don’t Listen to Penelope Trunk There’s a lot of advice on the internet directed to engineers and other tech workers who reach a certain age. According to Penelope Trunk, you’re supposed to hide your age on your resume by deleting work experience older than about 15 years ago and omitting the date on your college degree. (I’m going to blow… View Article
Irrational Optimism and Project Planning I read an article in the Wall Street Journal a couple of months ago that resonated strongly with me. Although the article deals with the problem of project planning for infrastructure projects, it’s really about irrational optimism. Why is it that infrastructure projects always cost more and take longer than expected? (As anyone reading this… View Article
Two Types of Technical In all the sturm und drang of bad economic news, Cardinal Peak is on a bit of a hiring spree. If you’re a talented engineer who is interested in embedded application development and lives in the Denver/Boulder area, please get in touch! We’re working on some very cool products that I hope to be able… View Article
I Want Smarter Competitors! We recently became aware of another contract engineering firm that had appropriated our Why Contract Engineering page for their own website. This other firm (and no, I’m not going to link to them) claims on their home page that they “operate in an honest, ethical and professional manner,” so I guess they’ve got that going… View Article
Minimizing Development Costs on Low- to Mid-Volume Products My last post suggested ways to reduce parts costs in a low- to mid-volume product. This post explores ways to keep development costs low while still creating a cost-effective product. You can’t escape the fact that it takes money to create a low-cost product. It is estimated that the first version of the iPhone had… View Article
Designing Low- to Mid-Volume Embedded Products Cost-Effectively I take it as a given that when a client approaches us with a new embedded product idea, they will require a very demanding set of features and a minimal price tag. The “minimal price tag” part always applies to the development effort required. For products with a hardware component, it also applies to the… View Article
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