• Purnima Thakre

WHAT IS REVERSE ENGINEERING?

Reverse engineering. The term smacks of clandestine military operations, gleeful scientists in white coats, reversible programming. And indeed, the beauty of the reverse engineer is her ability to appropriate such images, his talent at moving from completion to the start. Simply put, reverse engineering is taking something apart to figure out how it works, in order then to duplicate it or make it somehow better. But at refine+focus we see reverse engineering as a mindset, a way of moving forward. We analyze desired outcomes and devise strategies to get you there. We use the knowledge of the past to bring us forward towards the future. William Blake wrote, “Without contraries is no progression,” and though we’re not sure what he would have thought of the modern world, the internet, and social media, we are happy to take our cues from a poet.

Here’s reverse engineering and some examples of how it really works:

Jerry cans: During the Second World War Allied forces found that German cars had superiorly designed gasoline cans. Working backwards from captured models, they created these better cans themselves. In homage, of a sort, they christened them “Jerry cans.”

Slater’s textile mills: At 10, in 1778, Samuel Slater was working in a cotton mill in England. By 21 he knew just as much as anyone in the country about the mechanics of textiles. In 1789, he jumped ship for New York, after memorizing the plans for the miraculous machines, and brought the industrial revolution to America, rebuilding the secret machines there. By the time he died he was master of 13 spinning mills and even had a town named after him: Slatersville, RI.


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How can reverse engineering help your company? What’s a new way for you to move forward? At refine+focus, we’re committed to all the ways of helping you succeed. Tell us where you want to go. It’s our business to get you there.

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