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”DOD [the U.S. Department of Defense] is not receiving expected returns on its large investment in weapon systems. Since fiscal year 2000, DOD significantly increased the number of major defense acquisition programs and its overall investment in them. During this same time period, the performance of the DOD portfolio has gotten worse. The total acquisition cost of DOD’s 2007 portfolio of major programs under development or in production has grown by nearly $300 billion over initial estimates. Current programs are also experiencing, on average, a 21-month delay in delivering initial capabilities to the warfighter—often forcing DOD to spend additional funds on maintaining legacy systems.”

So begins the introduction to a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to a U.S. Senate subcommittee with ­oversight of federal financial ­management in September, just as the world’s financial markets began to crumble.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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