Fast Interconnect: Engineering Services for the Masses


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Gary Griffin and Ana Rosique are co-founders of Fast Interconnect, an Arizona-based product engineering company designed to serve an underserved market: the small product developers, inventors, and anyone with an idea for a “cool gadget.” I caught up with Griffin recently to discuss the new company, its innovative business model, and the challenges facing smaller OEMs and product developers.  

Andy Shaughnessy: Gary, why don’t you start off by giving us some information about yourself and your background in the industry?

Gary Griffin: I have been in the industry since 1984. I started out as an IC product engineer and then went into the ATE interface industry where I spent 20 years. The last 10 years have been in the product development industry where we get to see and create many really interesting products for large companies as well as for individuals and small business concerns. I am very passionate about this industry and I love the verity that comes with it. When I get to see the face of the client when they are presented with a working prototype, it is priceless to me.

Shaughnessy: Tell us about Fast Interconnect. You have a very interesting business model, with 200 independent engineers.

Griffin: Yes, this is a model that I put together. It was, as they say, a midnight revelation that this was the type of model that was missing in this industry. Personally, I have had the unfortunate experience with having to charge quite a bit to develop product, and often this is enough to squash the idea right out of the gate, simply because the costs were just too high. Keep in mind that large companies can handle the cost and indeed expect it, but what about small business and individuals that have this really cool idea and need a way to get it off the ground? There is nothing out there for them. Sure, there are places that tell you that you can design your own PCB and have them fabricated, but these packages are limited and fraught with issues that cannot be overcome unless you are an experienced layout engineer. This does not cover the software integration issues.

Going out and collecting the resources to cover these bases enables Fast Interconnect to offer true solutions to folks at a manageable cost that was previously out of reach. We are all familiar with the World Wide Web and have a basic understanding of how it works. Consider this company the “Internet of Product Development.”

Figure 1 is a simple graphic showing how our business model works. I have spoken to many people about this business model and without exception, I have been told that this is a novel way to do this kind of business, and no one has ever heard of such a thing.

FastInterconnect_Figure_1.jpg

Shaughnessy: So, I understand Fast Interconnect is co-owned by a woman? We don’t see women starting companies very often in this industry.

Griffin: Yes, Ana Rosique is the business brains behind this enterprise. She has a lot of experience with start-ups and her business acumen is outstanding.

Shaughnessy: You all offer quite a bit more than PCB design. What would you consider to be the sweet spot for Fast Interconnect?

Griffin: Our knowledge in product development, manufacturing, assembly and signal integrity ensures the right quality and timely deliveries. All stages are process-oriented and controlled; the expertise from each field is put together to develop each and every process which in turn empowers us to deliver better and faster. Particularly, our PCB designs are done under the motto of "Get it right at the first version."

Our knowledge and the latest tools in signal and power integrity help us to simulate the PCB design data; based on these results, the design will be optimized before getting into fabrication, which helps eradicate unwanted fab cycles during product development. This helps us to stay ahead, particularly when we are handling high-frequency signals in our designs, which is becoming a more common requirement nowadays. If there is just a PCB design to be done, our process is astoundingly fast and has high customer value.

Shaughnessy: Talk a little bit about your product development services.

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