Resources are “embedded” in a product throughout its lifecycle. One stage of that lifecycle that we don’t hear a lot about in terms of resource use is testing. When Boeing recently undertook a project to improve WiFi connectivity on passenger jets, company researchers developed a special instrument to conduct the test and also discovered that human testers could be reliably replaced by sacks of potatoes. (Apparently our bodies and potatoes interact with electronic signals in similar ways.) As a result of these innovations, they were able to reduce a two-week testing period to just 10 hours, saving resources in the process. How can other companies follow suit and reduce resource use during product testing?

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