By Engr. O’tobi Oyetimein mNRCS (tweet:@TitoTobyPhoenix)
(Partly suggested from Bill Gates’ Business @ the Speed of Thought)
One of the largest manufacturing concerns in the world, Boeing has a corporate tradition of betting the company on breakthrough aviation products every couple of decades.
In the 1930s Boeing gambled on a new bomber that became the B-17 of World War II fame.
In the 1950s Boeing gambled to build the first all-jet commercial passenger plane in the United States, the 707.
In 1968, Boeing built the first jumbo jet, the 747, without even enough customer orders to guarantee it could break even.
If any of these projects had failed, Boeing probably would have gone out of business.
By the 1990s, Boeing’s bet-the-business challenge was its next-generation passenger plane, the 777. Boeing’s first aircraft to be designed entirely by digital means, the 777 was also the first Boeing plane to totally use fly-by-wire technology, in which computers drive the control systems, eliminating the heavy cables used by mechanical systems. And it was the first Boeing plane built with major international suppliers, necessitating digital collaboration-so much digital collaboration that Boeing needed a new fiber-optic cable across the Pacific to Japan to handle the electronic traffic. This large-scale knowledge problem required enough pioneering to make it a major risk-with an equally great potential for reward.