A psychologist, an architect, and an engineer walk into a bar…
What sounds like a great set-up for an excellent punch line is part of the magic of PCDworks. Our co-founder Mike Rainone just happens to be all three and leverages his background in psychology, architecture, and engineering to ensure "PCDworks solves problems others can't," as James Wardlaw, Former New Products Development Manager at Ingersoll-Rand, has said. As a one-of-a-kind innovation firm, we've been in the business of solving the unsolvable for over two decades.
You need more than a fancy pitch deck.
Many incubators and accelerator programs do a fantastic job of helping startups articulate their ideas and communicate them compellingly during pitching competitions and practice sessions with investors. Selling your idea and getting buy-in from mentors and funders is essential. Yet, we've seen too many companies with truly mindblowing ideas get initial momentum only to fizzle out in the long run because they can't turn their ideas into reality. We leverage our experience working with large multinational corporations to support startups in addressing that critical gap between theory and practical application.
Hardtech - Making tangibles beyond apps and software code
Big companies are great at making stuff if they know what they're making. That sounds obvious, but it isn't. While these corporations have financing, sourcing, manufacturing, marketing, selling, and distribution locked in, they often lack the agility and hunger of entrepreneurs trying to figure out the next groundbreaking invention that will finally address a far-reaching problem. Especially if the potential solution isn't software code or an app that can be built at desks anywhere in the world, companies are at a loss of where to go for their hardtech needs.
This is our sweet spot at PCDworks. We have the team, experience, and facilities to not only help you identify the problem, but test the hypotheses of potential solutions, build and rigorously test preliminary prototypes, and design final prototypes for mass manufacturing.
John Dreu, VP of Global Strategic Development at Elrad International, agrees: "If your company is truly committed to groundbreaking technology development and innovation [...] look no further than PCDworks. The in-house technical team is the best combination of scientists, engineers, and problem solvers I have ever seen. They don't take any challenge at face value. [...] PCDworks is the partner you want if the goal is to create something game-changing in your industry."
What's your problem? No, really.
Dedication to your ideas and belief in your possible solution is essential, but so are the laws of physics. We clarify your core problem by deconstructing and interrogating it from all angles. We help you ask the right questions and apply the technology underlying your potential solutions. Scaling technical hurdles, testing hypotheses, and refining prototypes repeatedly until we've figured out exactly what will work, why, and how, is where we excel.
It's a team effort, so you'll get your hands dirty (and possibly wet).
Our team has compared how human and giraffe hearts pump blood while designing a new pump system, developed a subsurface safety valve by working with a world-class expert in Romania, and raced styrofoam and egg carton boats in our pond during an innovation session. Fun is fundamental to creativity, and our team's relentless curiosity allows us to combine this playful enthusiasm with the dedication and skill to solve the hard part first. Wharton School Professor Ethan Mollick calls it "solving the salient" that's holding back the entire system's development. For example, focusing on the sleek, futuristic design of electric cars is meaningless if the battery only allows you to drive for a few miles between charging.
How do we help you solve the hard part?
Immersive Environment + Industry-Leading Experts + Disruptive Approach = Magic Sauce for Innovation
When you stay at our peaceful, remote 80-acre campus in the quiet hills of the Piney Woods region in East Texas, you'll find everything you need to build anything. Yes, anything. You'll have access to our expert team plus 20,000 sq ft of resource buildings, including a guest house with a gym, offices, our brainstorming studio, several labs fitted with proprietary testing tools and apparatuses, and a prototype shop. Multiple 3D printers, two CNC machines, and even a small foundry to cast metal that Mike built himself, are available around the clock. We recently added a pick and place machine to populate our own PCBs to be more independent from supply issues brought on by the pandemic.
From mathematical modeling to electronic wiring, mechanical engineering, and finite element analysis (FEA), our team and facility offer comprehensive ideation, creation, testing, and design capabilities.
What makes the PCDworks process truly disruptive and innovative?
When we invite new clients to our immersive ideation™ process on campus, the first order of business isn't business at all. It's sitting around a kitchen table and sharing a home-cooked meal with you and your team that our co-founder, president, and design maven Donna has prepared from scratch. (Yes, we're all multi-hyphenates). But why the family-style meal? Creativity can only flourish in an atmosphere of psychological safety. In Mike's words, "You can't innovate if you're afraid to look stupid." While having dinner together might seem like a superfluous icebreaker, it's the foundation that precedes all the work to come. It's an exercise in leaving big egos at the door and level as humans and colleagues. Creativity needs flexibility and playfulness, so sharing some good food, drink, and conversation is essential in setting a collaborative tone before diving into addressing high-stakes problems.
Once you hit the inevitable snag in any project, the gloves will likely come off unless you've already established relationships of mutual trust and respect. Our team of industry-leading scientists and engineers always remembers that our creativity and innovative spirit come from our humanity, not our technical skills. Technical excellence is mandatory, but what sets us apart is generating that elusive synergy to create a "whole greater than the sum of its parts."
CONTACT Email PCDworks to set up an introductory, zero-pressure meeting to learn more about how we can collaborate.
Get Ready to Fail: The 3-Step Learning Cycle of Prototyping
In the early 1900s, Thomas Edison and his researchers were trying to develop a new kind of battery. They had been working on the problem for more than five months when Edison’s long-time associate Walter S. Mallory came to visit. As Mallory recounted, he found Edison at a long bench covered with hundreds of test cells. The researchers had done more than 9,000 experiments with such cells, but still they had not found a working solution...