Borrowing Innovation from Aerospace: An Engineer's Perspective

By Taylor Veino

Have you ever worked on what seemed like a ground-breaking innovation –  only for the end-product to come up painfully short? If your answer is yes, you’re not alone. The fact is, new software can fail for many reasons.

Sina Golshany, a new friend to The Frontier podcast, has implemented a couple principles that guided him throughout his career to prevent failed innovations. Sina, the current director of information at Fabricated Extrusion Company, is an aerospace engineering expert.

While Sina’s experience has been focused on physical product development, his current role is based on implementing new technologies into the engineering and manufacturing workflow. This includes simulation-driven product development, optimization, and production automation. In this space, he’s witnessed embedded software being designed in parallel to the optical and sensor system.

Build & Retain a High Velocity Team Team

Sina: If you can gather together a very good competent team, you're seventy percent of the way home to potentially having a successful project that leads to some innovative product.

If finding the right team members is 70% of building a successful product, bringing on the wrong engineers to your team is a recipe for disaster. As if hiring weren’t difficult enough already. If you want peace of mind in this regard, get in touch with Gun.io - we have a 360-degree vetting approach and can present you with senior engineers with deep experience building product from the ground up.

The term “high velocity” already implies that these projects are given limited time.

Combatting those tight deadlines should be a tight-knit team of experts who work efficiently together. Sina believes that small teams are better for innovation – no matter the industry. Larger teams are costly and generally fail to increase productivity proportional to the additional members. So, trim the fat and stay lean.

The team will work more fluently (and with higher velocity) when unencumbered by corporate bureaucracies. Meaning, they’ll have plenty of authority, and as such, be held accountable for any shortcomings – but more importantly – rewarded accordingly for any success.

Basic Knowledge of Computational Physics

Throughout the last decade, computer simulation software, low-cost/high-performance computers, and efficient accelerators have developed rapidly. Now, engineers can perform a thorough analysis before diving into building a product.

The result? Vastly superior product performance.

Sina: The technology is so advanced that it can be used readily, and if it fits your project’s framework,  all these synergistically have enabled engineers and designers to do new types of analyses before they ever build anything and be able to create an extraordinary performance out of whatever it is that they're designing

Basic knowledge of computational physics is a must in understanding a more efficient workflow to a desired end result.

Product Strategy

Without scrutinizing a product or service space idea, or assessing potential downsides (i.e. if there are legitimate reasons it doesn't already exist), the chances for failure heighten drastically. Just like with the above product.

Innovating for innovation’s sake is a sure-fire route to disaster. A perceived gap for a product doesn’t mean there’s an iota of market demand.  

Sina: Before you undertake any sort of significant development, you need to sit down and look at your own proposed product or service space very closely and very critically and determine if there are very good reasons why such thing doesn't exist.


Hammering out a sound product strategy and doing the essential market research is integral to the overall success of your innovation project.

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