from the I've-got-people-skills dept.
theodp writes "In his new book, Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business, legendary car-guy Bob Lutz says to get the U.S. economy growing again, we need to fire the MBAs and let engineers run the show. The auto industry, writes TIME's Rana Foroohar, is actually a terrific proxy for a trend toward short-term, myopically balance-sheet-driven management that has infected American business. In the first half of the 20th century, industrial giants like Ford, GE, AT&T and others used new technologies to create the best possible products and services with the idea that if you build it better, the customers will come. But by the late '70s, if-you-can-measure-it-you-can-manage-it MBAs were flourishing, and engineers were relegated to the geek back rooms. 'Shoemakers should be run by shoe guys,' argues Lutz, 'and software firms by software guys.' Learning that China plans to open 40 new graduate schools of business in the next few years, Lutz quipped, 'That's the best news I've heard in years.'"
"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers."
-- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a
particularly vivid fantasy)