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“It is sad that so many creations today are just like the rest. It is why Porsche must remain independent. Without independence, without the freedom to try new ideas, the world will not move ahead, but live in fear of its own potential. … Committees lead to creations that have no soul, no identity. This is why no Porsche will ever be created by a committee, but a handful of people inside these walls who know what a Porsche is.”
— Dr. F. Porsche
I was in a meeting where a CEO lamented that getting things through her board is difficult—can’t remember the exact characterization. Suffice to say, allowing a board to be a board is a tricky thing. Clearly there are times when a board helps vet an organization’s process, but there are other times when in the process of creation a board is best poised to allow the process to happen in the hands of the creators. A book I read called The Visionary’s Handbook suggests that even in the big company, certain divisions should be treated as if they were very small, giving entrepreneurial power to this force of creation. This type of independence is rare, even in the automotive world.
Unless you’re Porsche.
And with that I thought back to one of my most cherished quotations from what has become somewhat of a design hero for me, the patron of Porsche. I don’t know when exactly this was said, but one things for sure, anytime through the end of World War II, the amalgamation of car companies was rampant. This process saw the end of many storied brands. But for some there was the time to double down and work to come up with that next big thing.
The 356 was one such number. A roadster prelude to my favorite car, the 911, this car had the simplicity of design and a sheer level of enjoyment to see. And if driving a Karmann Ghia is half the experience—probably half the engine—then it must have really been something.
I knew when my Mom called me twice during the AFC Playoff game between the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens last Saturday, the game had hit a chord with the wide populace of Baltimore. My Mom barely watches football and she called to tell me that the game was a “miracle” for the Ravens. Well, I was certainly impressed with their spirited play tying and beating the Broncos on the road, but I kinda thought it was more like a blown coverage at the worst possible moment for Denver allowing for the Flacco bomb to reach paydirt. That said, an amazing game.
Whatever one wants to call it: miracle, heart, never-say-die etc., Ray Lewis has always been able to elevate his game — and inspire the team to do so at the right time. That is truly an aspect of his greatness, in that he inspires it in others. Thus, even as good as he has been throughout his career, he was always been more than the sum of his parts. And the team has been more than the sum of a stat-sheet. A factor often difficult to account for when betting against he Ravens.
After attending yesterday’s Tour Dem Parks, Hon! ride, and working the t-shirt table, I was pleasantly surprised by the people who were so animated about the postcard and shirt artwork.
The people’s energy was so good to see, because it provided strong validation that design can not only represent—but transform—the interest in event when design moves from being an afterthought to a main contributing factor in the event’s development.