This is Kevin Maney’s column as it appears in USA Today on July 25, 2001.
CARLSBAD, Calif. – In 1933, during the worst of the Depression, Charles Kettering stepped to the podium at a gathering of advertising executives in New York.
Kettering was one of the most revered technologists of his day, though then the forefront of marketable technology was more about mechanical engineering than computer engineering. As a young man, Kettering founded Delco and invented the electric car-starter. (Before that, drivers turned a crank to get a car going.) He sold Delco to General Motors in 1916, then ran GM’s research labs until 1947.
Warm, witty and down to earth, Kettering had little patience for economic theory or analysis of boom and bust cycles. His message to the fretting, demoralized ad men was pretty simple. “I believe business will come back when we get some products that people want to buy,” he began, and the room erupted into applause. “I am not worried about the future of America. I am only worried about how long we are going to wait for business to come back instead of going and finding it and bringing it back. You have got to coax it back. It isn’t going to come back by itself.
“You can’t sell anything to anybody if he is perfectly happy with what he has. I coined the definition for research, saying that research is an organized method of keeping everybody reasonably dissatisfied with what he had.”
My comment :
In a Recession its not more of the same, or more with less but innovative new products and services