Heather Thompson, Senior EditorA greater willingness to embrace failure and innovate—and a “yuge” elephant in the room named Donald—those are some of the major themes this week as 20,000 medical device engineers and executives meet in Anaheim, Calif., for the annual MD&M West conference and expo.
Here are six things one could hear echoed throughout the expo floor and conference rooms of the Anaheim Convention Center:
1. Trump who?
No one really wanted to talk about President Donald Trump, still in his first 100 days of office. Bosch Rexroth’s Kevin Gingerich said it best, noting that medtech is all about the long view: “Our corporate citizenship and our company mission is not going to change no matter who is in a political office.”
A number of people at MD&M West sounded the same theme—that political theater doesn’t matter if companies are creating good products and responding to market needs (either local or global).
2. Solving a problem through failure
On the TV show Mythbusters, the phrase “failure is always an option,” became a catch phrase. Former show host, Jaime Hyneman spoke in the keynote address and tackled this philosophy. “Failure is wonderful,” he said. “You have to cherish what happened. This is not the time to bemoan—it is the time to dig in.” He does admit that in product development, it can be hard to see that silver lining, but, “within that failure is a newer and better product that you are just about to discover.”