I love product development. For me the passion comes from creating something of tangible value from nothing more than ideas. I enjoy practical learning from each new iteration and I appreciate the value I get learning from the examples of others. crcarlson.com is a personal website I write to help me think through what has been effective in the past as well as what mistakes to avoid in the future.
The nature of product development for me has been highly collaborative. At times I have participated as an individual contributor and at other times as a leader. The posts here are largely written from my perspective but the ideas are usually the result of team based learning and experiences.
I tend to write about known and sometimes novel ideas in the context of a specific example. I try to provide at least an internet citation when I can, but if I have missed something important please let me know.
Some of the things I have worked on
Since 2021 I have lead the da Vinci Multiport division for Intuitive with responsibility for the da Vinci Xi and da Vinci X product platforms introduced in 2014 and 2017. The da Vinci systems are used by surgeons to deliver a less invasive approach to many types of surgery. As of 2021, over 10 million surgical procedures have been performed using da Vinci systems.
From 2013 to 2021 I led the team for what became the Ion Platform. As of 2022, the five year survival rate for lung cancer is only 22% in large part due to diagnosis after it has already spread. The Ion system is used by physicians for minimally invasive lung tissue biopsy for the early diagnosis as part of the treatment of lung cancer.
From 2010-2013 I co-founded Gantto, an easy to use alternative to Microsoft Project, and joined startup incubator Y Combinator as part of the summer 2010 batch. Gantto was a great learning experience and ultimately was acquired by competitor Tom's Planner.
From 2004 to 2010 I held individual contributor and leadership positions at Hansen Medical. At Hansen we developed the Sensei Robotic Catheter system for treating complex arrhythmias of the heart. Hansen went public in 2006 and received FDA clearance for Sensei in 2007. Hansen was acquired by Auris Surgical in 2016.
From 1998-2003 I earned my MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University with a focus on control systems, system identification and product design. From 1993 to 1998 I earned my BS in mechanical engineering while part of a team building two different hybrid electric vehicles for the FutureCar Challenge competitions.