Value flows for designs

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Short version: Designs should be listed as inputs to processes that use them. That way, the contributors to the design work will be credited when the design is used. And previous designs, ideas, R&D work, etc. should be listed as inputs to new designs, so that those contributors get credited as well.

New procedure for citing designs, to be incorporated into this page: citations

Reasons for doing so:

  • Designs will be improved, the previous designs will be superseded by new ones, and the old designs will not be used in production anymore. So the work that went into them will be lost to future value flows unless they are linked in.
  • Moreover, R&D work will go into designs, and not directly into income-producing products.
  • Plus, sometimes R&D work has negative results, but will still inform future work, even if only by telling them what not to do.
  • So all of those previous efforts should be credited in future designs of the same type, and then in future products.

The way to do this is to create a process to revamp a design, and use as inputs the previous design of the same type as well as the outputs from any relevant R&D projects. This is the same as citing prior work in a scientific report.

Here's an example of citing a previous design in labnotes:

Design labnotes.png

When you create a new design from a previous one, you will be able to trace the design history:

Design history.png

In this case, I created yet another newer design from the previous new design, which traces back through three generations to the Mosquito optics modular design. (And can trace back through as many generations as exist.)

Note: all of these examples are made up (obviously). They will be replaced by better examples when better ones emerge.