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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of the Perfect X-Ray Machine

liberty-bell-xray-labelX-ray of the Liberty Bell – Courtesy of National Parks Service

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Jefferson’s phrase in the 1776 Declaration of Independence is undeniably one of the key pillars of the American project. Strangely enough, that was the first time in history that anyone had bothered to write it down. This phrase also explains the key driving force of this nation: meritocracy.

Meritocracy is the idea that your age, gender, race, education, and your job history don’t determine who you are or what you can do. Instead, your destiny is driven by your creativity and work ethic. The ability to recognize an opportunity, and to act on it efficiently, trumps all other factors. If you can get the job done, people don’t really care where you come from. Meritocracy is the core driving force in the company I founded a few years ago, Creative Electron. I’ve found meritocracy to be an effective guiding principle to keep us focused on what’s important: our customers.

It was with these principles of freedom and meritocracy in mind that a few months ago we set to develop the next generation of x-ray software to power our TruView X-Ray Inspection Systems. The main change we made was to open the TruView Software to the scientific community. TruView 6 X-Ray Software has the capacity to harness the invaluable amount of untapped talent because it serves as a core software platform (similar to the iOS or Android operational systems in your smartphone). TruView 6 builds on these experiences to leverage crowdsourcing so that scientists can write Apps and share them in our TruView App Store (once approved by our team to assure the quality and security of the code).

To think about crowdsourcing as a creative source to your company can be scary at first. But going back to what I said about customer centricity, our goal is to provide our customers with the best possible x-ray machine. Thus, why not allow our TruView software to be a development platform for talented scientists and researchers? Why not leverage the immense power of the scientific community to bring these ideas to our customers? In his “Crowdsourcing” book, Jeff Howe writes, “crowdsourcing has the potential to correct a long-standing human conundrum. The amount of knowledge and talent dispersed among the numerous members of our species has always vastly outstripped our capacity to harness those invaluable quantities”.

In the first few days since its launch, the requests from top universities and research laboratories to develop Apps for the TruView platform is a fantastic validation that crowdsourcing works. It’s also validation that all the efforts and investments to develop TruView 6 will pay off. In the end, what really matters is that our customers will greatly benefit from the creation of new apps that will meet their every x-ray inspection need.

A small team in Southern California develops every TruView product. We all share the same office. We also share an obsession for building the best x-ray machines in the world. TruView 6 is allowing us to meet like-minded passionate people with incredible ideas, and we welcome them to our team! I love the fact that our small team can now harness the creative power of the crowd to deliver amazing products to our customers. I love the fact we can share the principles of freedom and meritocracy worldwide, and to continue to brand every one of our TruView X-Ray Inspection systems “Proudly Designed and Made in USA”.

What are your experiences with crowdsourcing? Please comment and share your thoughts on the matter.

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