A lot of learning can come from reverse engineering a lot of things. In business, it can be a creative process on how to bring about new change and innovation.
Tech Backstage interviewed Jason Jepson to learn more about reverse engineering. We talked about the results of reverse engineering in strategy, building and positioning technology, and the ins and outs of storytelling.
The Tech Backstage Podcast is a live-streamed video podcast that goes behind the scenes with today’s industry leaders to learn which technologies are solving business problems and how Design Thinking applied to the future of technology has an impact on the world.
Reverse engineering consists of disassembling an element to check its operating system. This method is applied to examine it and understand it well, in particular to value the object. We can reverse engineer various things such as machinery, software, different types of devices, etc.
The reverse engineering process is usually applied to software and hardware from older companies. It depends on the technology and knowledge that can be gained from reverse engineering.
The information or knowledge can be used to perform security analysis or to redesign unused items. In other words, reverse engineering is learning knowledge from a finished product.
So, whether it’s an engineer or a business owner, anyone can reverse engineer a business process starting with the end goal while looking at the business.
Reverse engineering can allow us to focus on the important aspect as a result instead of just focusing on easily measurable things. Therefore, every organization can drive innovation from a mix of data, process, results, and outcomes.
With reverse engineering, results, outputs, processes, and data are forced to go backwards. It may be difficult, but it’s a reboot approach where a focus on results can be a win-win for everyone.
To make reverse engineering a strategy, it is crucial to look at a company. When we view it, it gives an overview of its functions, data, process of functions, estimation of its result and inputs.
Jepson states this with an example by providing a difference between a $5000 customer and a $1000 customer. They have the same wants and desires. The difference is that one understands and knows what they are building for their business. They get a glimpse of their purpose. But the other client, without knowing the business, has a system that will not serve his business in the long term.
Without proper strategy or reverse engineering of the business as a whole, “extracting information or calling this idea is very difficult.”
It may take business owners to constantly “fight different battles,” but understanding how to remove them is crucial. It is crucial to find these pieces of information while consulting the company.
You need to have a strategy to move forward, but before you build the strategy, you need to understand what you want to do. Then you can find out where the problems are. Then you have to sit down and think about the result, then go back.
For example, Amazon uses reverse engineering. First they target an outcome, then they proceed to move forward.
Regardless of the context, certain fixed steps are common for reverse engineering efforts. They are:
Extracting information: The business or any object to be reverse engineered is analyzed. Information about its process, functions or design is extracted to determine how all the parts fit together. For example, in the case of software reverse engineering, engineers must gather source code or design documents for review. Whereas for a business, the steps might be to first check its outcome and then determine the input, functions, and process.
Modeling: In this step, the information that has been collected is transformed into a conceptual model with all the parts explaining its function to predict the outcome. This step aims to take data from the original to form a general model. This model can guide the design of new models or processes.
Exam: During this stage, the team can examine the model and test it under various circumstances to ensure that it is a realistic abstraction. When the process is tested, the process or model is ready to be implemented to rearrange the original item.
Reverse engineering means trying to deliberately break things so that we can fix them before they break on their own. This is done so that we can bring the best positive change and experience to people.
Jepson says we want to embrace technology in a way that creates a healthy relationship with technology where people can feel good about using it. There is always a need to create something that complements people. It’s the little things that make a big difference.
Check out the full interview below.
Originally posted on tulliosiragusa.com August 11, 2022