February 23rd, 2010 by Collin Canright | Filed under Personal, Technology.

I’ve been working on new things a lot lately: new online marketing ideas, including an ebook on staying connected through email and social media; new studies in group dynamics and leadership; new writings in neuroscience, social intelligence, and nanoscience.

In going over my strategy for bringing in more business through our online marketing in my sales group this morning, it became apparent that I have been giving close to short shrift to the technical writing I have done and managed for so long. Our largest current projects are a software manual revision and a series of hardware manuals for an electronics test equipment manufacturer–one of the first times we’ve been able to completely redesign and rewrite a hardware manual.

So I decided to spend some time on LinkedIn searching for other software companies in the Chicago area to call on. I came across a lot of Motorola software engineers in my network, a company I have done only one project with, an edit of a white paper 20 years ago on Six Sigma and producibility. I remember wading through the math and getting to the core idea that any product had to be designed with the particulars of manufacturing and production in mind. It seemed quite simple.

I passed on making making connections to the Motorolans for the time being. Their work it is too far away from my experience at this point.

But the electronic data interchange developer I came across isn’t, though it’s been like 10 years since I worked with the subject directly.

In thinking about the EDI work I did, I recalled all the documentation I did in the electronics industry. So I did some LinkedIn searches on the keyword “electronics” and came up with some people at a company I had worked with about 15 years ago.

The new services are critical areas of growth, but sometimes it also pays to look back at what’s worked in the past and reconnect.

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