Sharing some thoughts recently with old friend Art Nixon of high-performance coaxial cable supplier Insulated Wire brought up the concept of a world without competition. After all, competition all too often breeds contempt, as well as bad blood, and most typically bitter words spoken in the heat of battle (or following the loss of a prime contract to a competitor).

Of course, there are "good" competitors and "bad" competitors. All of the negative aspects of competition can be associated with the bad lot. Competition can be a good thing, because it is a force for improvement. It provides motivation to exceed the performance levels set by a competitor. Putting economics and ego aside, competition drives engineers to seek new and better solutions, to be the "first" to achieve something never thought possible. As another old friend, Harvey Kaylie of Mini-Circuits once pointed out, "someone has to be the best." Without competition, "best" wouldn't matter, and progress would slow to a crawl.