atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1141: I have only one question: WHEN????????


Only problem is, that site utterly horked my browser. The images and everything are gorgeous, but it's awful bandwidth-intensive.

Right now they're showing two character classes--Barbarian and a new one, Witch Doctor. (Hopefully there'll be more than that later on.)

I've only been waiting since about 2002 or 2003 for another Diablo game. Awesome.

* * *

WTF. A moonlight concentrator cures diseases? Riiiight. Yeah, sure, whatever floats your boat, dude.

* * *

"You can't create a car to deal with $5 gas in one year," is the money quote from this article about how GM stock is tanking.

Little has changed at GM over the past few decades. Faced with changing conditions repeatedly GM has learned nothing from the past and instead concentrates on satisfying what customers want now without thinking about what they might want "if-and-when".

Other automakers who have fuel-efficient cars aren't "lucky"--at least, in the sense that some kind of mysterious force helped them; it was the "luck" which enables a baseball player to hit a home run, the "luck" of foresight and preparation.

GM responded to a market trend but didn't bother to hedge its bets: it concentrated on making big fat gas-guzzling SUVs because that's where it could make big fat profits, and put nothing into preparation for the time when gas might get so expensive that people stopped buying the big fat gas-guzzlers. (To the point that GM is already considering selling the "Hummer" brand, which was never anything but a bunch of badges for rebodied Chevy trucks anyway.)

It would be hilarious if it weren't such a tragedy; the big three made the exact same mistakes they made in the 1970s, and it's having exactly the same results. Chrysler is even facing another freaking bankruptcy!

If the bean counters at GM had had even a shred of intellect that could have been spared for anything other than maximizing the dividend, the company might have been able to do something smart, something like this:

You develop, and keep under wraps, economical cars. You don't put them into production, but you ensure that you can do so with about 9-15 months' worth of lead time. You periodically update the designs so they don't stagnate. Then, when something like this hits--gas suddenly spikes to $4+ per gallon--you announce that you've got a new car coming out that'll get XX MPG and you push the big red button. Out come your superbly-engineered, inexpensive, up-to-date economy cars, and within a year's time you've adapted superbly to changing market conditions.

GM used to be the largest corporation the world. Don't tell me this is "impossible"; it's not, and I know it's not. I'm not talking about developing a car from scratch in 12 months; I'm talking about going from production prototype to full production in 12 months--that is eminently possible.

It means more money on R&D, of course; and to bean counters, R&D is wasted money, money that could be put into the dividend! Got to keep that stock price up! Got to! Our bonuses depend on it!

...where has that thinking got you now, anus?

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