The new Porsche product: Kool-Aid

[Cache – #60]

If you are passionate about what you do, chances are you’ve drank at least some of your own Kool-Aid.  Meaning that you may have lost a measure of objectivity when it comes to judging the impact of your work.  A reminder of this danger is found in how the Porsche website explains the names of its vehicles:

“Names at Porsche have a concrete connection with the corresponding model and its characteristics: the name Boxster describes the combination of boxer engine and roadster, Cayenne stands for sharpness, the Cayman is snappy and agile and a Panamera is more than a Gran Turismo, capable also of winning the Carrera Panamericana long-distance race.”

Before reading that paragraph this morning, I didn’t get any of those associations, and I’m someone who watches names every day.  So in all likelihood, the people who don’t really care about names (i.e. most people), didn’t get them either.  Which is unfortunate, because the stories behind those names are quite compelling – and if Porsche made an effort to tell those stories in their advertising (which they don’t), it could help sell cars.  It seems Porsche thinks the names are so good, they’re self-explanatory.

Because we have to argue in favour of our work every day, we have to drink a bit of our own Kool-Aid.  So it’s easy for us to overestimate our own brilliance, as Porsche may have done.  The antidote:  every once in a while, put down your glass.


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