About me

I’m John Farnbach, Ph.D. (EE). My career has been in product development, marketing and business management.

Why Rapid Learning Cycles?

I support Katherine Radeka’s rapid learning cycle methodology  because it solves a problem that has persisted for decades and can to bring joy and excitement back to product development. I worked previously with Preston Smith’s flexible product development, which is based on the same principle: Traditional “best” practices force developers to freeze decisions and plans prematurely with assumptions and best guesses and instead of real data.  Then they get called on the carpet for “poor planning” when those premature decisions cause major project disruptions.

My values

A great job of copying your peers’ “best practices” will only get you to second place. I want to help you understand the principles and build practices tailored to your company, your goals, and your culture

Having good people isn’t enough.  Good people can get frustrated and produce poor results in a poorly functioning system.  One of my primary jobs is to help you create a new product operation that supports invention and innovation, rather than undermining it.

And I believe that product innovation depends on fluid communications.  Product developers have to integrate information from people and functions across your company.  Small scaleup companies have to be wary of overly formal communications, and large companies have to inject more informality into their communications.

My experience

 I have 35 years’ experience working in and around new product development as a design engineer, project manager, marketing manager, and business unit director.  I’ve worked in and with both large and small companies in industries such as Instruments, Semiconductors, disc drives and telecom equipment.