Argues that in the coming years the present methods of demonstrating reliability will no longer be feasible and alternative methods must be found. Deals with building‐in reliability (BIR) and the necessity to change from the standard end‐of‐line‐measurement technique of life test to a more proactive in‐line approach, where reliability can be measured by process parameters and reaction time is immediate, resulting in a continuous flow of reliable product to the end user. This approach will not eliminate the use of end‐of‐line monitoring, but will reduce the amount which needs to be carried out. Suggests that it will only be done to demonstrate that processes are operating to certain maximum failure rates, where the online controls will in fact guarantee that the reliability is much greater than that being demonstrated. Examines the customers’ attitude towards reliability, and points out that sharing of data will be essential if the BIR approach is to be successful. Outllines two examples which demonstrate the effectiveness of a BIR program and explains how, if implemented, it can be used to prevent the manufacture of potentially unreliable product.