Once again, it is time for the world famous (in my own mind at least) annual tradition of making predictions for the coming year that are Guaranteed to be Wrong, or Your Money Back! This year, I thought I would pay tribute to the greatest musical act still working today: Alison Krauss and Union Station. If you haven’t experienced AKUS, please click on the embedded videos; you will become a fan. If you are not a fan, you should be. “But I hate country music” is no excuse when it comes to the awesomeness that is the Hall of Fame lineup of Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Dan Tyminski, Ron Block, and Dan Bales.
My 2012 Predictions turned out to be mostly wrong, which is great news, since many of them were dire indeed. Here’s to hoping that my 2013 predictions will perform about the same.
Sometimes, you read something written by otherwise intelligent-seeming people that makes you wonder what the hell happened to rationality. This is one of those somethings:
It is not just that the big three ignored the future. From where I stand, they also seem to have attempted to hold the US government back from doing anything about it. All three have spent millions lobbying to delay laws that would have made improvements in the fuel efficiency of new cars mandatory. While global competitors Toyota and VW responded to market needs by introducing smaller, lower-emission models, the big three seem to have preferred to spend their time and money preventing the government from forcing them to do the same.
W. T. F.? o.0
So let me get this straight. The writer loves Toyota and VW because they responded to market needs. But castigates American carmakers for preventing the government from “forcing them to respond to market needs”? Since when do companies need to be forced by governments to respond to market needs? Does the writer understand capitalism at all?
Did Toyota and VW create smaller, low-emission cars and hybrids because of CAFE standards? No — they saw a market need, a way to tap into what they saw as pent-up consumer demand, a way to differentiate their product offerings, and they took action. This is what companies do on a day-in, day-out basis. Zero government action was needed to get profit-seeking businesspeople to take action.
GM, Ford and Chrysler made a mistake. It is one that will cost them dearly. Companies do that; fallible human being misread market signals all the time.
A marketer claiming that the government understands market needs better than a company actually participating in that market — I never thought I would see the day.
Well, apparently, all companies should just fire all their marketers and their market research teams. They merely need to wait for the Market Needs Commissar to tell them what the people really want.