Saturday, July 11, 2015

Here, in a concise statement of resignation, is why a cost based economy cannot take us to the stars


This article from the Daily Beast declares, quite succinctly, why the "net gain" crowd are ill suited for carrying society forward any longer. The main narrative here, concerning Boeing's early work to figure out what kind of wing would take aviation into the jet age, serves to point out how we used to have an amazing "can do" attitude toward difficult, and costly, creative efforts.

After the trouble with creating the 787, though (having been burned a lot by the problems of outsourcing, as well as the purely technical challenges as the article points out), outgoing boss James McNerney is quoted (in responding to financial analysts) that the 787 represented a philosophy of:

"...“every 25 years a big moonshot, produce a 707 or a 787 – that’s the wrong way to pursue this business. The more-for-less world will not let you produce moonshots.”

And even more troubling is the thought that many of the social and environmental threats we now face are, perhaps, even more challenging than a moon shot. And the mind set of profits this quarter, and the prospects for the next, doesn't allow for much in the way of real vision. This is more than just a problem of competitiveness, it is a matter of survival. If you don't see that than you've probably been spending too much time worrying about your investment portfolio.

Boeing B-47B rocket-assisted take off on April 15, 1954. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Who Killed America’s Can-Do Spirit?