The Coveted Up in Blue Smoke Award

Every engineering design project has failed prototypes, some of them fail because we decided that we wanted to go in a different direction, others fail more literally, going out with a flash, a bang or a puff of smoke. In electronics, we call this letting the Blue Smoke out. As letting the smoke out represents learning, we set up the much coveted Up in Blue Smoke Award.

Letting the blue smoke out is a sign that enough progress has been made on that prototype that it could fail. It also serves as a point to look back and reflect on what happened and, and how to prevent it in the future. After the post-mortem, the new winner posts about their award and how they got it on the internal website so others do not make the same mistake.