Powering a Propane Shower Using Your Car Battery

Thanks for following our outdoor adventures!

We just got back from a great week long trip to the Western North Carolina mountains. We camped up at 4000 feet of elevation near Hot Springs, NC. Because we were going to be gone for a week, we took our big tent. That was a lot more comfortable for an extended period, especially with the dog. She takes up a lot of space in the teardrop.

Having a big tent gives room to relax and come in out of the rain

Since we wouldn’t have the teardrop, we had to use an alternate way to power the 12 Vdc pump for the shower. So we used the battery on the 4Runner, which works great. The 4Runner battery has plenty of capacity to run the 10 amp shower pump for the short amount of time needed to take a shower.

Taking a shower in the evenings is a great way to feel refreshed before going to bed. Its really not an option when backpacking, but a nice perk when car camping / glamping or overlanding.

I’ll also show you a simple DIY sink and countertop setup and storage box that works great if you have the room to haul it around or have a place where you can leave it permanently. We leave it at our permanent camping location and use it again and again. You could use this type of sink setup for a glamping trip as well, but you would have to haul it to your camp site. It might work well for a large gathering where you need a good way to wash dishes for a larger group.

Using a water jug like this makes it super easy for everyone to wash hands. That is very handy!

Our storage box setup is great for extra supplies and for storing higher value items when you leave the campsite.

Our 4Runner battery worked great for powering our portable shower

Reminder, always be aware of wildlife around you. I was standing near some tall grass and this guy slithered right by me and set up to sun himself on that log.

We found out that we had a leak in our tent roof, after many years of reliable service. Or quick fix was to use tarps to cover the top of the tent and make it through the week without any more leaks.

As usual, my wife cooked some great meals! Makes the whole trip better.

Should You Wear a Mask – The Science Behind Why You Should

There is so much misunderstanding and misinformation about this subject. So I break down my understanding of why you should wear a mask. It is longer than I intended, but hopefully it is simply stated and makes a good argument for why masks should be worn.

If you physically cant wear a mask (small percentage of the population), that is ok, we just need to get everyone else wearing a mask so we can beat this virus and go one with our lives, liberty and prosperity.

You can listen to the podcast or on Youtube (below).

Corona Virus – Minimizing the Impact to Your Business and Family

Here are my thoughts on

  • how NC and Wake county are misleading us and not being consistent with CDC guidelines
  • why the Corona virus is a threat to your employees, you and your bottom line
  • why you should send your employees home sooner, rather than later, to protect your business and bottom line – especially employees that can work from home
  • reducing the chance of infection by reducing the potential R0 in your business
  • remember as the commentator on PeakProsperity.com says the pattern of the virus is case, case, cluster, cluster, boom

Our local disinformation from the state / county / public schools is so bad that PeakProsperity.com was pointing out the inaccuracy of info provided by Wake County public schools and the Wake county health department in conjunction with NC DHHS.

I’m not a medical professional, but I’ve been following the virus very closely. I hope this helps you make proactive decisions that could save lives.

Montie Interviewed on Everyday Innovator Podcast

Click on image to hear the podcast.

I was recently interviewed for the Everyday Innovator podcast. This is a great podcast that interviews leaders in the product development and product management field. I’m honored to be included in the podcast.


Excerpts from the interview:

Our guest for this episode is Montie Roland. Montie used my online training course to prepare for, and pass, the New Product Development Professional exam, earning him the NPDP certification from PDMA, which is the oldest and most established professional group for product managers. After passing, he contacted me to discuss providing training to product managers in his company. This is a topic I always enjoy because I love helping organizations improve their product management capability and helping product managers further their skills and how they work with each other and the product team.

As I talked with Montie, I also learned about his background, became fascinated by his experiences, and knew he had to join us here to share his stories and knowledge.

Montie has pursued an entrepreneur path, building his own company, and an intrapreneur path working in an established company. He is a mechanical engineer with a ton of design experience.

We talked about his experiences, including the pros and cons of working for yourself vs working for an organization.

[3:19] What is your current role as an intrapreneur?

I’m on the new product development team at Pentair. If you’ve ever been in a swimming pool, the water probably went through one of our products. I get to do a lot of front-end work in industrial design and the connection between customer and product. The strongest part of my skillset is bridging that gap, and I have the chance to do it on a lot of different projects in a large organization.

[5:26] What kind of products did you create as an entrepreneur?

I ran Montie Design for about a decade. We started in B2B products and eventually moved into B2C. We made rack-mount servers and packaging electronics. Clients would come to us because they were trying to get around politics in their company or were behind schedule on a project. We developed products that they could transition into manufacturing. On the B2C side, we made in-home air filters that were highly stylized. We tried to make as much as we could locally so that there was a community feeling to it. We wanted people to look at our products and say that’s the way they would have made it themselves.

[13:02] What are the advantages of working on your own?

I enjoyed the sense of self-determination. You don’t have someone looking over your shoulder like you do in a big corporation. You can explore directions that you might not be able to otherwise. People who work in product development have an inherent sense of adventure, which tends to be more constrained in a corporate environment.
[14:40] What are the disadvantages of being an entrepreneur?

It requires a lot of work. If you have a spouse or family, you need to have buy-in for your entrepreneurial endeavor at home. You also need to have the funding you need and scale your operation based on the funding you have. I had a great time working on my own, but went back to the corporate world because I needed a lifestyle change. I scaled my business back as a result and now do Montie Gear on the side.

[20:45] What are the advantages of working for an organization?

I’m part of a large, multi-disciplinary team that has a lot of depth. There are times when you might have to switch projects and hand off what you’re working on to another engineer who is a better fit. Pentair fosters the sense of trust necessary to make those transitions happen. It’s also much closer to a 40-hour work week and I don’t have to worry about everything. I have a lot of people around me who are experienced at product development, which pushes me to keep my skills sharp. My colleagues and I challenge each other, which creates a very collaborative environment. I get to focus my time designing things and don’t need to worry about all the other aspects of running a business.

[25:55] What are the disadvantages of working for an organization?

There’s a lot of skepticism from companies about hiring entrepreneurs because they think you’ll get tired of the corporate environment and be out the door to do your own thing in six months. Look for companies that see your entrepreneurial background as a benefit because you can bring different skills to the table. It’s also difficult for HR to translate entrepreneurial skills into existing roles and job levels. You need to be flexible about starting at a lower rung and working your way up over time. Another disadvantage is that you’re not responsible for every decision; the scope is much smaller and you need to be okay letting go of some responsibility. There’s also a culture shift because every company’s culture is different.

[32:58] Why did you pursue the PDMA NPDP certification?

It’s easy to back off on training and certifications when you’re an entrepreneur because you’re so caught up in the day to day of running the business. In a corporate environment, you have time and money for professional development. The company wants you to grow and that makes it really easy do things like certifications.

Innovation Quote

“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” – James Keller
Thanks!

Thank you for being an Everyday Innovator and learning with me from the successes and failures of product innovators, managers, and developers. If you enjoyed the discussion, help out a fellow product manager by sharing it using the social media buttons you see below.

Kanban Cards at Montie Gear

We use Kanban cards at Montie Gear to manage our inventory.  The purpose of the cards is to make sure we don’t run out of inventory so we have the products you want, when you want them.  Kanban is a way to use a simple formula to determine how much product to keep on hand by using customer demand and the time it takes to produce the product.  You can hear more about Kanban cards at:

http://montiegear.com/blog/lean-manufacturing-helps-us-serve-customers-better/

 

My Journey Into Lean Manufacturing – Kano Model / Don’t Forget Customer Delight

 

Greetings,

Can you get so Lean (Lean Manufacturing) that you get lost in the process?  You bet you can.

Lets talk about the Kano model.  The Kano model helps you to organize your product development and management efforts between basic expectations, performance enhancements and delightful additions to your product.  Understanding the difference  and applying this model to your product management and design management ultimately serves as a reminder to not forget the joy of creating delightful products that please your customers is great ways.  Don’t end up getting lost in the process and forget to delight your customers.

Comments and suggestions are always welcome: montie@montie.com.

Cheers,
Montie