How to Find Great Answers
In that amount of time I have learned a few things and made a huge number of mistakes. I was also taught that you owe something to the industry you are in so I have been doing writing and speaking for decades on the things I have figured out that I think might help others.
Over the years I have been very privileged to get a great deal of help from people who had long ago solved a problem that I was just starting to work on.
I am now one of those guys that can give a really great answer in one of my narrow specialties.
The first problem is how to find us. Start two ways. First check on the Internet and see who’s writing on your subject. Make sure that they sound like they really know what they are talking about. Then you can e-mail or call that person and ask them for help if they haven’t already covered in online. The second way is to ask around.
Yesterday I got a call from somebody who wanted to know about my research on carbide grades. He was referred to me by one of my customers who uses one of our advanced grades.
Today I got a call from somebody who had actually read a lot of my material online about brazing carbide.
Both of these people had done some work before they found me. Both of these people were very polite. I had a nice conversation with each of them and gave them a lot of information.
After 30 some years of doing this I have a pretty good network of people who can answer almost any question.
Most of us are pretty happy to answer any kind of question but there are certain rules.
1. It is really impressive if you have read the stuff we have written first.
2. We are not going to give away competitive information.
3. You have to be polite to us. I don’t mean you have to suck up to us. I do mean that you have to be nice enough to us that we don’t hang up on you.
4. You have to have a valid reason for wanting the information. Having problems with a manufacturing process is a very good reason. Having to write a term paper is a very bad reason.
5. I will answer some questions without charge from young engineers at major international corporations. Sometimes I expect to be paid for my consulting especially if your company is 10,000 times as large as mine.
6. It is really flattering if you listen well and if we can hear you taking notes.
7. Most of us are old farts and it is nice if you let us ramble a bit. Besides the rambling may end up being background for the point we are trying to make.
8. I am not going to argue with you. I have seen way too many arguments get way out of hand because both parties were busy defending their point instead of trying to discover the truth. Typically it is pretty easy to see where both parties are right if you forget your egos and work at it a little bit.
Well, that’s it. I’m an old fart that knows a little bit about a few things. Occasionally I get to help people simply by discussing things with them. What is written above is the way I see it now. This will undoubtedly change over time and will probably change as the weather changes or as it gets closer or farther away from lunch.
In any case there are a bunch of us out there with some real answers. Ask around to find us then be polite and we may help you if we can.
We sell carbide, braze alloy and do contract brazing and pretinning
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