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Just as the ancient agricultural cycle of sowing and reaping recurs from time immemorial, so does the modern cycle of the work year. You put forth your best efforts for a good many months. Then there is a mysterious meeting of your managers known as the performance review, in which your pitiful efforts are judged. This is followed by the dreaded notification of your performance rating and the correspondingly inadequate raise. The theory is that you will reap what you have sown. That’s the theory, anyway.

The reader will be shocked to learn that this process is imperfect. At least in agriculture when you plant potatoes, you get potatoes. You may not get anything, of course, but you never get a turnip, for instance. Alas, in the world of business the laws of determinism do not apply. The wonderful seed that you have planted may have its beauty only in your own eyes. What you see as a potato may be judged to be a turnip, and thus a turnip it is. You would be well advised to discover in advance how this year’s turnip crop will be discerned.

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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
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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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