This is so true as a life principle!
I once read a book about the development of laser guided bombs , and in it it talked about how Texas Instruments made the first viable prototype  on a shoe-string budget even though they were competing against a large government contractor with a huge budget.
Because of the budgetary constraints, TI couldn't afford multi-million dollar wind tunnels for testing, so they built scale models of the bomb and dropped them into swimming pools, performing mathematics transforms on the results using the drag coefficients of water vs air. They came up with a bunch of other innovations as well, such as the shuttlecock seeker head and made a superior product that vastly outperformed the high-budget contractor.
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