The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

Understanding Openness

The choice between closed versus open innovation is not always simple

3 min read
Understanding Openness
llustration: Harry Campbell

opening illustration for Reflections columnIllustration: Harry Campbell

Many, many years ago I gave a talk at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. I remember nothing of that day except for a passing comment made by the speaker before me, a software pioneer. He said that the greatest achievement of the computer industry was not the personal computer but the concept of an open platform on which third parties could innovate, and that this open platform was what the telecom industry lacked.

Keep Reading ↓Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

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.

Keep Reading ↓Show less