Look… This has nothing to do with Glowforge or even really hot dogs. But you’re my community so I’m asking you…
Some years ago I read an article about a hot dog manufacturing company where an employee used to take every hot dog, put them on a cart, walk them through the factory, taking a specific path to take them to their destination. One day, the man left the company. I forget if they fired him, he quit, or maybe even died. Anyway, they no longer walked his path. Instead, a more direct route for the hot dogs were taken. Well, customers started complaining about the “new flavor” of the hot dogs. So the company dug deep to figure this out since nothing had changed. Oh, wait, except for “Earl” (I forget his name) leaving the company and walking that weird path every day. Did the company hire a replacement? No… They automated “Earl’s” walk through the buildings instead. Customers rejoiced that they put the hot dogs back the way they were.
Why am I sharing this? Because I want to find the damn article!!! Google has not been a friend on this one. Anybody know this article? Anybody ever hear the tale? I want to believe it’s 100% true. So I will. But I’d love to re-read the article!
There is a true story lurking in the bushes however that the Irving story was spun out of. When Gallo Wine went Hollywood they decided that instead of making the Wine in small kegs they would create giant stainless steel vats to create their wine so they could sell really high volume at rock bottom prices.
The wine of course was terrible and after they had done the research discovered that the oak the cask was made of was as important as the grapes. So now they add oak boards to the wine in the vats.
A similar story is/was told of Grapenuts cereal. The “bread” that they’re made from was apparently baked in the same continuous-process brick ovens for decades. When they wanted to start a new line, they (as the story goes) had to run the new ovens for months before the flavor was right.
Was many years ago. Many folk thought that “new high tech ideas” were the way to leap ahead. Folk know now that the oak was important, and an entire science grew out of it, but that is how that happened.