At “The Daily Beast”, Tina Brown raises what may be at the heart of a lot of America’s troubles — a business run by “feckless zombies” who can’t tell a good idea from a bad one, where innovation loses out to short-term gains.
The public rage towards the Big Three reflects in part the rage many employees feel today about the way their own companies have been so messed up already they were in no shape to survive a market collapse. Only now are we hearing how the innovative engineers who wanted to get into hybrids and electric cars were cut off when the accountants decreed that there was more and quicker profit in churning out gas guzzlers.
What do cars, debt risk, and collapsing television networks have in common? The suits running them all lose sight of what they condescendingly call “product”–i.e., whatever it was that motivated the company’s spirit of excellence in the first place. The trouble is, those guys and their appointees don’t seem to be the ones who are leaving, do they? Indeed, the recession is giving many of them air cover. “It’s not my fault, it’s the times we live in.”
I am hoping — and I know that it’s a long shot — that the economic collapse will give birth to new kinds of companies — ones truly committed to making excellent products again. Let’s run the zombies out of town.