Author: Howard Gerwin

Howard Gerwin brings a rare blend of large company, startup and academic perspective to the challenge of bringing innovative solutions to the marketplace using a systems-thinking approach. Howard spent more than 25 years at CAT, Ford and John Deere taking innovative and diverse products from concept through to production. Most of that time was spent in the heavy iron world of engines and powertrains. A few years back while still at Deere, he made a pivot into the world of connected machines and sensors, mobile applications and the Internet of Things. Howard left Deere in 2018 and jumped headfirst into the start-up community in Champaign-Urbana and the University of Illinois. He advised a number of startups in the AgTech and connected device space. Howard was a mentor in the National I-Corps program for an AgTech startup and found that the process of lean innovation and the Lean Startup really resonated. He became an instructor at the Technology Entrepreneur Center to share his passion with students and faculty. Howard’s consulting practice focuses on commercializing disruptive and innovative technologies within established industries. Howard holds an MS in System Design and Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Rice University.

Editor’s note: Howard Gerwin, a classmate from Rice University back in the day, sent me this note on Thursday, February 18, and it was so insightful that I just had to share it. “Tell me how you will measure a system and I will tell you how it will behave” is a common heuristic used in the design and management of complex socio-technical systems. I am currently experiencing this in its extreme. A few weeks ago, my wife and I came to Austin for a one-month break from the interminable gray of winter in Chicago. We are both working remotely…

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