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Showing posts from August, 2009

Open letter to Detroit: think like a technology brand

General Motors grabbed headlines recently by claiming its Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid will get 230 miles per gallon in city driving. Clearly, such an audacious claim must be independently verified. But the sheer game-changing nature of this claim underscores an opportunity for GM to carve out a new place in our collective imagination by behaving more like a technology brand and less like an automotive brand. Throughout the last century the automobile stood for freedom, mobility and joy. Hitting the open road expanded our horizons and put a bigger world within our reach. Cars represented modern life at its best. But that was then. Today, it is technology that defines modern life. Technology liberates and connects. Each new smart phone, wafer-thin laptop and lifelike home theater joyfully proclaims that today is better than yesterday. Technology brands are the new “car.” I don’t advocate that GM or Ford or Toyota begin behaving in some geeky kind of way. Rather, it should take i