The Playbook

How To Build A Bridge To Innovation

Avoiding Small Mistakes & Huge Costs


Innovation &


80 percent of the cost of a design is determined by decisions made early in the process.

These Decisions get harder & more expensive to fix as the product gets closer to the customers hands.

We use a virtual test lab to design these problems out .. instead of manufacturing them in. 



Leadership is the single most important factor on any battlefield .. 

Extreme Ownership .. take full responsibility for what is happening or has happened.

Commander's Intent is the description & definition of what a successful mission looks like


Do you ever feel like your meetings & emails are an Abbott & Costello routine ...

Who's On First .. What's On Second .. 

We use the Talking Football & the Thinking Hats to eliminate "Who's On First" syndrome.

It's a simple tool to give everyone a voice & to have everyone's voice heard


Strategy &


What to design is more important than how to design it.

Planning is a mechanism for disciplined thought .. to confront the brutal facts

The Hedgehog Concept

  1. Passionate About
  2. Best At
  3. Resource Engine
    1. Time
    2. Money
    3. Brand



No battle plan survives contact with the enemy ... or the customer.

In a dynamic & fast changing environment ... things happen ... Captain Murphy always shows up ... at the worst possible time.

Avoid the good ... the bad ... the ugly ... and move the project closer to the ideal project

How do you close the gap between strategy & execution ...

Leadership & Communication


Threats &


On any project there are bound to be threats ... obstacles ... waste.

The key to accomplishing the mission is to neutralize the threats .. eliminate the obstacles ...

The biggest threat on any project ...

The problems you can't see ...

The problems you can't talk about ...

The Iceberg Of Ignorance ... can be deadly to any project ... especially the ones that are unsinkable


Small Mistakes

One Small Mistake Can Spell Disaster

 The huge cost of a small mistake .. 

Think of it this way ..

One small mistake can have a huge impact 

.. Like the oil drain plug in your car ..

A $0.99 drain plug .. not properly tightened ... loosens

.. falls out and destroys an engine costing $5,000


We face immense pressure these days .. developing new products

Business Pressure

  • Demand for lower cost products
  • Shortened Product Development Schedules
  • Better Quality & Reliability
  • Greater Innovation
  • Smarter & More Feature Rich Products


 Design Pressure

  1. Problems & Errors Found Too Late
  2. Making Trade offs ... Cost ... Performance ... Quality
  3. Frequent Design Changes
  4. Predicting Product Behavior In A Real World Environment
  5. Lack of skilled experts ... limited bandwidth


By using virtual prototypes we can find problems early ... we can explore all the options digitally ... we can take out unnecessary cost ... without taking out the quality

  • Design out the problems ... instead of manufacturing them in.
  • Take out unnecessary cost ... not unnecessary quality.
  • Finding design flaws
  • Finding better designs
  • Predict product performance in the real world
  • Quality & innovation


One small flaw in your product can be disastrous for your company and brand.

Products are becoming more and more complex these days and the weakest link in the chain is usually the point of failure.

With the product development cycle become shorter & shorter ... the pressure to get it right is  ever increasing.

Just think over the last few years .. the product issues that you have heard about

These are not isolated incidents .. and they are becoming more common.



The 80 Percent Rule

80 Percent Of The Cost Of Developing A Product ...

 .. is determined by decisions made early in the design process

By using a virtual test lab .. to find and fix the problems.

The problems are designed out ... not manufactured in

The mistakes are eliminated ... before they become expensive problems

The problems are found at the beginning .. not two weeks before it ships to the customer

We take out the cost ... not the quality


Solving design problems up front ... in the very beginning of the process ... when it's still a concept in a computer ... is exponentially cheaper and faster ... than solving them once the product is in the customer's hands.

Once the problems have been designed in ... it's expensive to fix them ... it causes a domino effect. Every minor change cascades to every other part ... unintended consequences result.

By using virtual experiments we can find problems early ... we can explore all the options digitally ... we can take out unnecessary cost ... without taking out the quality


Building & breaking our way to innovation .. takes too long & costs too much


Time Is Money

Speed & Accuracy Wins .. Every Time

Fast is fine ... but accuracy is everything

-- Wyatt Earp


Getting to market with a product of inferior quality .. ahead of your competitor ... is not a good strategy

You are just causing more problems for yourself

Beating your competitors to market .. only works ..

If you have a high quality product .. that's innovative ... that people actually want

a product of poor quality .. that doesn't work properly .. that no one wants

Only benefits your competitor


The product design equation

  1. Quality
  2. Schedule
  3. Cost

Pick two ..

if you can't hit the target .. it doesn't matter how fast you shoot


Better products through simulation



Real World Behavior

Predict behavior of the product digitally in real world conditions

Build the product once and only once, eliminate the failure points .. with a click of the mouse .. with the use of virtual prototypes .. rather than by expensive physical testing. 

Building and breaking on our way to innovation takes too long and costs too much.  

We can test hundreds of these virtual prototypes inside a computer in a matter of hours.

Solving problems ... discovering new ... innovative solutions in a matter of minutes.

The cost to solve these problems increases exponentially as the product gets in the customers hands.

Don't turn your customers into the beta testers ... and give them more reasons to buy your competitors products.

Build it right the first time .. eliminate the pain ... the frustration ... less time .. less money

By the time a physical prototype has been built ... the mistakes have already been designed in ... and are very expensive to correct.  


Why spend 12 weeks building and breaking products when you can do the same thing with a virtual prototype .. in a matter of hours .. for ten percent of the cost?



Too Expensive

"We Can't Afford That ... That's Too Expensive"

We can't afford to spend $10 today to design it right the first time ... but we can spend $1,000 to fix it next week

Cutting corners and trying to get to market faster can have disastrous consequences. 

We never have enough time to do it right ..

.. but we always have time to do it over ... and over ... and over ..

The High Cost Of Low Quality

... Designing a product on the cheap in order to save money is the most EXPENSIVE way to develop a product.

Consider this ..

Spend $500,000 to develop a product ... when you probably needed closer $750,000 

  1. Poor Quality
  2. Doesn't Work
  3. Customers Hate it

Spend another $300,000 to try and fix a bad design after the fact

.. the bailing wire and duct tape approach

At this point you are just putting lipstick on a pig.

You then spend another $300,000 to redesign it ... to try and fix the problems that you created in the first place

2 + 2 = 5

Fix it but don't change anything

At this point .. you can't really change anything ... the constraints have already been designed & manufactured in .

.. It would be cheaper & faster to throw it out and start over

... but we can't do that ... sunk costs ... no time ... no money

We spent $500,000 doing it cheap & fast

We spent another $600,000 trying to fix it with bailing wire and duct tape ...

And it's still an ugly goat in a tuxedo ... that no one wants


there is no bigger waste than a project spending $1 million dollars 

... that needed $2 million to achieve its' objectives


Building & breaking our way to innovation takes too long and costs too much.

We take out the cost ... not the quality.

We find & fix the problems at the beginning .. with the use of virtual prototypes



We help leaders solve problems, teams to work together more effectively and companies to get products to market faster with higher quality for lower cost.

In today's fast paced and chaotic environment, the margin for error is small, with tight schedules and even tighter budgets.

We use a broad range of strategy & tactics to solve problems and create new & innovative solutions.

Leadership is the most important factor on any battlefield.


Travis "Grizzly" Jacobs JA Simulations