David Dobson

Work that Makes a Difference

The world is full of opportunities to take what you’ve learned in school and life and apply your energy and efforts in ways that allow you to gain a personal profit from your work. This is the easiest and most common route because making money from the application of skill sets and experience provides rewards, both financial and emotional, but if this is all there is, it kind of leaves you hollowed out and empty.

When you really think about it, much of our work has only a limited tangible effect upon the lives of others. That said, there are times when we’re given the rare opportunity to do things that have a direct, positive impact upon people other than ourselves.  In these situations, life seems to come together in an interesting way. When your skill sets and experience align with an opportunity to solve a problem that will help another person overcome a difficulty….and as a result, enjoy a better life….then you’ve stumbled upon the best work of your life.

From what I’ve seen, the people who choose to work in product development in the medical device industry really enjoy what they do. They have a different bent than those who choose to apply their skills in many of the other categories of product development. Obviously, there’s a direct connection between developing products for the world of healthcare and the personal fulfillment that flows to those who engage in such activities, but there are other benefits as well. From my observations, not only do they enjoy their work, the designers and engineers who conceptualize and create medical devices have the distinct advantage of improved insight.

This group of people choose to engage at a higher level than those who ply their trade in other industries. They are more likely to dig deeper into research, ask the tough questions, empathize with end users, all the while seeking to make sense of it all.  This higher level of engagement results in extremely useful information that yields insight and often translates into product concepts and designs that have a significant level of efficacy.  A good thing when it comes to a device that diagnoses or treats a disease.

Below, I’ve assembled a list of reasons why a company like Starfish…and all the people that make up this exciting business choose to spend their days in the relentless pursuit of problem solving and improving the various medical device apparatus we design and engineer.

We do this because it’s a good business to be in. Developing products for a growing market is fundamental to a successful business strategy….and so is the need to give back.  We’ve discovered that there’s a hard link between the two.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”.  ~Winston Churchill

We do this because it’s interesting work.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”.  – Confucius

We do this because it’s good for us. 

“If you do a good job for others, you heal yourself at the same time, because a dose of joy is a spiritual cure”.  ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

We do this because it brings about positive change.  We may not see a dramatic, immediate, change in the lives of those we serve, but we know that we’re working in the right direction.

“The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of tiny pushes of each honest worker”.  ~Helen Keller 

And finally, in the words of Tom Brokaw….

“It’s easy to make a buck.  It’s a lot tougher to make a difference”.

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