Quality Magazine

Editorial: The Cyclical Quality Industry

Bringing things back around.

October 4, 2013

I love the writing of Larry David. He is the co-creator of one of the most-cherished and acclaimed sitcoms of all-time, Seinfeld, as well as the creator and writer of the long-running comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm.

What I enjoy most is David’s ability to start a story with something seemingly innocuous and bring the climax of the story back around to the beginning, making the catalyzing event seem much more important than it initially was.

One example is a story that begins with David’s character donating money for a wing of a new museum. During the dedication ceremony, he sees his name prominently displayed on the wall of the new wing and receives accolades from the crowd as the generous benefactor.

David is surprised to learn, however, that another benefactor has donated a wing as well, but has done so anonymously. As he stares at the wall reading “Anonymous”, the crowd goes wild. David begins to feel overshadowed, and to add insult to injury, it seems that everyone knows the name of the anonymous benefactor, bringing what David believes is not only the admiration of donating something anonymously but also the added benefit of having everyone know what you have done.

As David spends the rest of the story trying to wrap his mind around the social edicts that have been violated by an anonymous benefactor that everyone knows about and making attempt after attempt to crawl out from under the shadow of his adversarial donor, he makes the decision to change his donation to anonymous as well.

The story comes back around when, on an unrelated sub-story, David is being chased by an angry band of hooligans and finds himself in front of the new museum seeking sanctuary from the unruly mob. He tries to gain access to the locked museum by convincing the security guard to let him in as he is the one who donated money to build this new museum. “Just look, my name is up on the wall.” David realizes he is out of luck as the security guard peers at David’s wall, which now reads “Anonymous.”

This month’s Quality delves into the idea of things coming back around, but it is by no means innocuous. Reshoring, or insourcing, is a hot topic of conversation amongst companies that continue to strive to bring themselves closer to their customers. Read all about the latest on the reshoring effort in Michelle Bangert’s article, “Why Manufacturing Here Makes Sense.” Also, check out how design and manufacturing engineers can utilize reverse engineering software to get the job done in David Olson’s article, “Reverse Engineering: Backing into Quality.”

 Enjoy and thanks for reading!