Originally Posted by qdp
Thanks guys, your comments are much appreciated. The "they think will sell well" is the problem. Markets, products change, and leaders -in any field have to recognize the wave trend before it arrives on shore. Hello, are you seeing green now? What was it, the polar bears swimming, the increase in climatological event impacts, or just higher gas prices? Iwas screaming for change with my efforts 30 years ago with Club of Rome Limits to Growth, and Malthus' projections and a first place in the E.P.R.O.M. design competition at NCSU. Few were listening then, but common sense has never been much of a cultural priority in our society.
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Einstein. You've read Lee Iaccoca's 7 C's of leadership ability? It is about honesty, trust, motivation, visualization, creativity and applied science (answers). I see complacency here in our leadership, continuing what is outmoded.
Thanks for the Award reference, I'll check.
Wally was wrong in his improvement quote. Question everything is a better start. Stressed skin structure, shape, methodology, use and adaptability, weight loss, here are concepts where I'd start. Here's my reasoning: Everything is about weight, or lack thereof. The lighter, the stronger, the easier to build, the better it performs. Forget crashworthiness by mass inertia, because hauling all that mass around is more dangerous. Case in point, the tiny Smart cars earned highest safety rating because of the Tritium cell and applied design methodology. Gordon Murray, McLaren chief designer, is recommending tiny compact cars for the same reasons.
Build lighter always in things that move. Call it Q's law.
Design is everything. In a new house it is just as easy to build a $300/sqft mistake, as it is to build a $300/sqft masterpiece. The only difference is in the design and the application/interaction to the site. (and the costs therein) The same, even more so, applies to trailers and mobile accommodations. No matter how good profit driven companies are, if leadership lacks, it's in trouble. Charles Handy: The Age of Paradox. Sure there's business inertia, but by the time the warnings sound or even start to appear, it's too late. See GM and their announced changes? It's a sad joke that they still do not get.
2air has no argument from me, about towing, gleam, curves and repairable. What ISN'T? I could tow the Titanic, but should I?
That is not the question I ask. When we add 115 pound huge anti-sway hitches, moment arm/trailer hitch connections, instead of 15lbs. of cross braced unequal arm suspensions on the units, this is ineffective, costly, and with higher risk. Cabinetry and layout preferences I care little about. The big picture is something else. Every part I've held up on my Airstream, I've thought of better solutions that are stronger, simpler, easier to build, and mostly cheaper. The problem is exactly this complacency of tradition, and 'don't change what isn't broke' mentality. It is why Airstream is not increasing market share, EXCEPT when new product lines show improvements, as with CCD interior design 'decorations'.
Look at the shell, how it is built.
Everything designed is purpose-driven, sometimes only by the aesthetic. When both beauty and function combine along with innovation, then the magical occurs. Most of our leaders, in their knowledge base, are very unimaginative. Educationally, they are not trained for this. Case study at Harvard, Stanford's Masters MBA programs all use existing models to illustrate the best and most effective programs for business tools applications and methodology. The how-to on buy-outs is pre-emminent study. Understand the value based criteria and lack of morality that fuels our leaders fear-driven ability to lead. What are they preoccupied with?
Build a better product which responds better to consumer needs is what will sell better. Duh.
None train educationally in understanding the dynamic range that product R & D has. If 30% of your operating capital is not going into increasing and diversifying product lines, you will be outsold, purchased or with a lowered market share, inevitably. Ries and Trout: the 22 immutable laws of Marketing. Sorry, I'm digressing.
A few years ago I was interviewed by Fleetwood for a Sr. level position. Nice people, but a huge void, where Craine was retiring. Lack of Direction, mid management vying, the whole political circus. Here's a company with massive opportunity and lack of vision. ideals that are voidless, and clueless methodology looking for business as usual. When I presented ideas about the direction of mobile homes, the same barriers. In products, in assembly, in marketing, in environmentalism, in every single sector I could identify, including vertical marketing techniques for their existing hiarchy-based sales organization, common sense did not prevail. An emerging market called 'the internet' allowed for instant VR reality based fly-thrus, MooVs, and pick and order connectivity unheard of. Too effective, was over their heads, but it required motivation, incentive, vision and carry-through. Don't misunderstand me, they are a great business, they just lacked vision.
Look around: Why are there so many small cap start-ups now? Because leadership in big business did not see the new emergence.
Hence A/S has the opportunity here, and it is being squandered. It is all about design, inherent in their genepool of products. It just is NOT being built, or conceived of, because leaders have other priorities, and no incentive for creative applications, as wally meant: evolution.
Read, look up, and gimme response! thx