Every electronic product design has many challenges associated with the project. Often, the real challenge comes as an afterthought, perhaps the last line of the requirements document: “… and it has to be the shape of a dollar coin only a bit thinner, including the battery.” As PCB designers get creative to continually amaze, the new techniques are disruptive to traditional PCB design and fabrication unless done well. Design centers that succeed with the newest techniques have more options, more ways to solve a problem, and put out products that achieve the previously impossible. This extra effort to make ever faster or thinner electronics is rewarded in dollars, as Apple has shown in a series of amazing designs. Here we will review the advanced PCB techniques of 3D packaging, HDI, and embedded actives, find a common thread to design challenges, and then identify a common ingredient in good solutions.