We get asked a lot about the name of our podcast, Hardware Is Forever. Hardware and software are components of technology that are two sides of a coin. Hardware is the physical component of a computer system; it is the machine used to process data and software. Software, on the other hand, is the instructions that tell the hardware what to do. The relationship between hardware and software is an important one; it is the foundation of a successful technology system. But only hardware is forever.
Origin of Hardware is Forever
The idea of hardware’s lasting power was well captured in the television show Halt and Catch Fire. The show follows a group of computer engineers attempting to build a revolutionary personal computer. The show is set in the early 1980s and explores the effects of the technological revolution on the lives of those involved. In one episode a powerful line is spoken: “Software comes and goes. Hardware is forever.”
This resonates with us at Amtech. We’re a company that specializes in manufacturing hardware solutions that helps some other thing go. In other words, hardware that’s designed to integrate with software. This integration, connected to our customer’s vision and use case, has to be easy to use, reliable, secure, or any other project imperatives. This integration of hardware and software allows our customers to create technologies and products that will make an impact. At Amtech, our role is to make sure what we help make will stand the test of time. As our CEO Jay Patel says, “Hardware and software are two sides of the same coin. Without hardware, software is nothing more than a set of instructions. And without software, hardware is just an expensive piece of metal. The two components must be integrated to create a successful technology platform.”
Invention & Innovation
The show Halt and Catch Fire follows an upstart, ragtag group as they navigate the business and cultural impacts of the early days of personal computers and eventually the internet. This also resonates with us. An appropriate amount of us against the world puts a little fire and motivation in our team. What can we accomplish? How can we create and innovate in a crowded industry with largely commodity products? How can we be better? Questions like these drive us and inspire and invigorate us. It also helps us be more self-aware about the impact the answers to some of those questions can have.
“When a technology platform is able to stand the test of time,” Jay says, “It means that businesses can create a system that will be able to handle the changing demands of the market. It is important for businesses to have a platform that is reliable and secure so that they can create innovative solutions that will last for years to come.”
Hardware and the Eternal Platform
Hardware’s lasting power is emblematic of the lasting power of the right business relationship. Amtech’s electronics solutions – our hardware – are designed to enable businesses to create platforms or products that stand the test of time. Our relationships are cultivated to foster the same idea – that we’re a long-term partner and solution provider for our customers. Hardware and software are, in many ways, conduits for each other’s success; great software will fail on poorly made hardware, and the best hardware can’t overcome bad or broken software. The same is true for our company and customer relationships. The “eternal platform” isn’t necessarily ageless or timeless hardware, or even technology at all. The platform is the integration of products and relationships. Hardware is forever is, for us, a great tagline for those ideas, and an aspirational mantra for us to remember.