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“…there’s a tremendous amount of craftsmanship between a great idea and a great product…”
– Steve Jobs

It also seems like an old-fashioned concept, not applicable to our ever-accelerating world, where new AI capabilities are seemingly released every two weeks, and each one of them proceeds to blow our minds, until the next thing comes along. In such a world, craftsmanship seems like an anachronism.

There are three things we want to discuss as it relates to craftsmanship and its relevance to our world today, and indeed to what we do at Threadeo.


Mindset & Values

Craftsmanship starts with having a specific mindset, perhaps even a value system. It is a desire to create something outstanding combined with the skills, experience, and resilience to follow through on that desire as best as one can under prevailing constraints. It is not necessarily limited to a particular type of object, product, device, or piece of art. A shoemaker in a remote village in an emerging country can be as much of a craftsperson as the lead watchmaker for a prestigious Swiss watch manufacturer. And the same can hold for more abstract things such as software.


Increasing Appreciation with Time

The extent of craftsmanship of an object, product, or service is often not obvious the first time you interact with it. It is only after repeated interactions that one may develop an appreciation for how good the item is, that through all the different ways in which you have used that item, it does exactly what you’d expect and perhaps even delight you with the unexpected from time to time. That consistency and ability to delight usually exists because someone deliberately engineered it in. This is especially true of technology products. Think of most software and hardware from fifteen or twenty years ago. It used to be pretty common that the shine of buying a new computer wore off pretty quickly with certain computers, simply because they were poorly made. With other computers though, one’s experience was consistently high or even got better with time. The former represents a poorly crafted product, and the latter is a prime example of craftsmanship.


Contagious and Constructive

Craftsmanship can be contagious. Or more accurately, multiple things need to come together at a high level of craftsmanship in order to create something that is mundane today, yet fundamentally magical. Think about air travel. Nobody gives it a thought, and most people complain about how horrible it is, and yes there have been recent stories in the news. But the fundamental idea that we can safely and quickly go around the world in a tube powered by controlled explosions is still pretty incredible. And it’s all due to the level of craftsmanship that goes into making every single part of that airplane and its engines. Same deal with electric cars and over-the-air updates that can give your vehicle new features while you sleep. There needed to be a bunch of advancements in hardware, software, and networking in order to make that a reality. And finally, everyone’s favorite topic, AI. All the incredible capabilities that we now see AI perform would not be possible without the incredible craftsmanship that goes into designing and manufacturing the chips that are used to make the AI models more capable — chips that contain 80 billion transistors and are machined perfectly to 5 nanometers. For perspective, that’s 20,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, or about 20 times smaller than common viruses. If that’s not craftsmanship, we don’t know what is.


What Craftsmanship Means to Us

At Threadeo, we follow these three principles rigorously across all our products. Craftsmanship is a state of mind for us. It’s not just what we build for you, it’s who we are. We suspect that’s why our products are the best in the industry, that’s why our customers love us the more they use our products, and that’s why we have tremendous respect for all the craftspeople who have built the tools that we use to build great things for you.