It is interesting how one product from the same brand and the same ID looks the same one to another. For example lets create a fictive product in our mind, the product name is “Potatoe John”, it’s a potato chips made of potato, flour, salt, broth and many other ingredients. Everytime we open the wrapper made of a sheet of plactic covered with a tin foil we can see that the shape of every chips is no different from one to another, in scientific term we call it as “having a small deviation”. But it is not just the shape, when you eat them chips by chips you can’t tell the different in smell and taste. What is even more amazing is… hundreds or even thousands of box filled with that product will show no significant deviation! Thanks to the Standard compiled by some people from “Potatoe John” company :)

Standard is not just applied on food, there are many other goods and services that using standard. Be it automobile, drugs, architectures, textiles, banks, and many others. By creating standard, we create uniformity, integrity and consistency. Standard is paramount to convince everyone that “everything is working just fine”. Peoples love stability, and standard is able to maintains the stability by putting goods and services in an exact value defined by unnegotiable parameters.

Standard is indeed an amazing things, not only in real-world application. But also in R&D environment. Most of the time researcher and developer using standard to compare something with another. An easy example would be SI, stand for Système International d’Unités. We use SI in everyday life to measure things, and in R&D environment SI is even more important. Well, we can’t compare something that we can’t measure don’t we? Since comparing result from an action to another result from another action is the fundamental thing of researching, a way to measure is essential for R&D.

Let’s take a look at the past, when Archimedes live (287 BC–212 BC) he was accidentally found a way to find out whether the gold that the King have is an immitation or not. By measuring the water volume spilled by a the gold that King have that’s put into a container of water and comparing the water volume spilled by real gold with the same mass Archimedes could tell whether the King’s gold is immitation or not. I could say that Archimedes was creating a simple standard for “real gold” with certain mass. Maybe that’s not interesting to you, but in the past it was a groundbreaking invention, it was an amazing invention that makes Archimides jumps out of his bathtub and running everywhere naked and yelling out “EUREKA!! EUREKA!! EUREKA!!!” (which mean “I have found it!” if you don’t know what it means).

OK, so that wasn’t so interesting after all. So now lets take a look to even further past. Around three and a half millenium ago the ancient egyptian was creating a massive architecture, we name it the Egyptian Pyramids (notice the “s” suffix which means plural form). Have you ever look at one of them from close distance? Well I haven’t actually :p, but I’ve seen them several times from some documentary show. When we take a real look and think about it, it is so amazing how every building block of the pyramid is having same size and shape! It is obvious that they have created a standard and measure every building block precisely. If they didn’t then we wouldn’t see the pyramids the way we see it now, maybe they will be shaped like a banana? LOL

Ever since the ancient times mankind have created so many standard, myriads of standard. Some have a global scope, some are local, some even limited to a certain company. Anyhow, standard is what makes our world the way we see it now. Without a standard we will be back to stone age I guess… Nah, just kidding… In the end, I just wanna say, Standard is one of the greatest thing human ever invent! :D

19 April 2010