How do you manage this in business, knowing that things will neither stay the same nor develop to a point of constancy?
Moving forward, we have to be careful as to how much complexity we can put in machines. Managing complexity is probably our biggest challenge for the coming 20 years. By this I mean complexity not only in terms of how many different components you have, but also in terms of cost, lead time of your suppliers, the capability of your suppliers, etc. We see limits on infrastructure that we have to be smarter at dealing with, while still fueling our customers with solutions.
There are some similarities between the environmental crisis, the energy crisis, and the stepper lithography business that I am in. When I joined ASML, you could do things in a team of 10 people. Now you need 10,000! Similarly, when people think of a solar cell or a windmill, they see it only as a one-point solution. But really, it takes a system approach. It’s not just about the components needed to make a windmill, for example. It’s about how you bring everything together as a total system. This will be the challenge moving forward.