What is a Differential?

by Diego De Souza

What is a differential? Well, it depends who you ask but let’s examine this question after having watched this video.

No seriously watch that video. What did you think? Pretty interesting huh!?

I watched that video years ago and I thought to myself “hmm that was interesting” and that was that. I didn’t have anything major to compare it with or to relate it to. This time it was in a different light; this time I saw an illustrated version of what I have just gotten myself into, let me explain. So about a week ago, I started working at Differential and I wanted to express my experience so far and define what Differential is to me.

Machines, Companies and Their Similarities

A company is very much like a machine, in this case an allegorical car – it is composed of many parts and it is a means to accomplish a task or get from A to B. The car engine produces power; it is transmitted to the wheels via the transmission and the drive shaft. Axles join the wheels and the differential, the star of the movie, is at the center. The car can function without the differential, but not very efficiently or effectively – as shown in the video, it isn’t functional in every different type of terrain or for turning without slipping. When a car turns, the wheels on the left and right side of the car have to travel at different speeds because their paths are of different lengths. That was my little recap.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Designing the differential and forming a technical company are very much alike – the engine is tasked with leading (powering it technically) the car where it needs to go. The CEO of a company also leads the company where it needs to go. The drive shaft connects the components with power or resources and translates this power into the actions required to accomplish a project, like a functional group leader. The drive shaft is in contact with a series of gears that work together to accomplish various tasks involved in the project just as employees do. When aligned on a common goal, the gears specific motions allow the wheels get to their destination. In this visual, our partners or customers are the wheels, that need to get from A to B and we are the Differential that enable them to get there. The genius of the differential is in providing a means for the gears to work in unison so that the wheels not only move in sync but also individually as needed.

What it is All About

What makes Differential stand out is the recognition of the growing needs of its clientele and meeting those needs with its team. Differential is primarily about people, people who are passionate about what they do, passionate about technology and passionate about their career; people that don’t take lightly the tasks at hand.

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