Bitching and moaning or competing


I’m on my way back from Dallas, reading the Wall Street Journal and my tears are just pouring all over the place for a little company called Porsche. Perhaps you’ve heard of them: they don’t make a single car under $46,000 and majority of their models cost six figures with the recently discontinued top model (Carrera GT) starting at $440,000. American.

The company is complaining that the new EPA requirements for fuel efficiency and pollution control would disproportionately hurt them, and I quote WSJ here:

“It’s not that we can’t do it, it’s that we lose competitiveness.” – Bernd Harling, Porsche

Now, if obscenely overpriced cars aren’t enough to jerk a tear out of you, also consider that Porsche routinely closes their production plants for nearly 2 months in the summer for vacations.


I think I have a suggestion on something that would help your competitiveness: earn yo keep. If selling overpriced cars and being lazy isn’t enough, the excuse is “we could do it, but it’s easier to just complain instead.

The History

Most of these high performance automobile companies (Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini) were founded by amazingly competitive and hard working people who not only wanted to be the best but also didn’t back away from a challenge. As the legend goes, Ferruccio Lamborgini went to complain to Enzo Ferrari about his (Ferrari) car being a piece of track junk (too loud) to which Enzo politely explained that a simple peasant farmer simply couldn’t appreciate the engineering and luxury of a Ferrari.

When you’re in the industry with a ton of innovation and competitiveness, you simply don’t get to be lazy or say “no.”; When you do, you lose a client. Or your job.

The reality of the modern business is no different than when these companies were started around the middle of last century. What has changed for those companies is the priority: it’s all about the money.

When absolutely all that counts is the bottom line, your income, your pay, and you’re willing to let your products or output fall apart because it’s not worth it to you, it’s simply the end of the road.

The alternative: do your best, every day, try to bring the best to the table and believe me, you will get compensated and you will be competitive.

2 Responses to Bitching and moaning or competing

  1. Scott says:

    So many “corperations” do think about the “bottom line” only, and forget all the people that help the company get there. Tom Peters (say what you want about him) explains that yes the bottom line is important, however so are the people that come in and help you get where you need to go. With out them what can you do! Nothing! I understand that there are still executives who think like Carnegie, and think that if they loose 1 employee there’s another one right behind them. We’ll yes in the current economic times, however soon you will have your labor force upset, and how about the economic, and physical capital that you need to spend to keep training all those new people!

  2. Jules says:

    And it’s articles like this that make me work as hard as you do.

    I just need to leverage more “smarter” in there.

    But heck, I’m trying 🙂

    Not meant as a kiss ass comment, but, I do.

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