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America Reinvented or Restored?

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I experienced a remarkable moment of professional fulfillment this week that made me realize how rare craftsmanship has become.

Without prompting, a potential client with whom I have had infrequent contact requested a proposal from my company.  While any request for a proposal is a welcome communiqué, this one was marvelously unique.  The aircraft designer was not particularly interested in our core offering.  What they wanted was a transference of our engineering methodologies.

When forming our current company in 2007, we sought to improve on the experience of the dot-com success that we sold in 2000.  Our vision was to once again provide the skills that we made a living from before, only this time basing our execution on the process philosophy published by some brilliant MIT masterminds.

So when a prospective client asks what differentiates us from the competition, we proudly demonstrate our engineering orchestration and hope their eyes don’t glaze over.  This, of course, translates into the social challenge for every geek, more like Sigma Alpha Epsilon and less like Delta Tau Chi.

What this client is asking for is that we share our ultimate best; to move beyond the product pitch and deliver artistry.  What joy.

I hope that once the worthy debates of selecting our elected leaders are behind us, America returns to a culture of craftsmanship in the products and services that we produce.  Let’s pursue memorable designs in our websites, pro-active usability in our appliances, impressive efficiencies in traffic management, and the kind of surprising details that you find in cars whose model name includes the wordtouring.

America has a worldwide reputation for being design leaders.  And it is important that we maintain that position.  There also appears to be a national desire to renew  manufacturing in the U.S.  Let’s be leaders there as well; craftsmen of the highest order; a reputation for the finest products that good money can buy.

I got to thinking about legacy brands that are associated with the land of the free and the home of the brave; tall, meaningful icons developed over time with care and with style.  Disneyland, Levis, Fender Guitars, The Beach Boys, A Prairie Home Companion, Steven Tyler, McDonald’s, Starbucks, John Wayne movies, Corvettes, Martha Stewart, Space Travel, Apple, Marilyn Monroe, Harley Davidson Motorcycles, Martin Luther King, American Football, American Baseball, jazz, Norman Rockwell paintings, drive-in movie theaters, drive through restaurants, surfing, Superman, Dick Clark, the Rose Parade, Boeing 747, Cadillac fins, cheer leaders, barbecuing, Abraham Lincoln, car hop restaurants, the Empire State Building, fly fishing, Mark Twain, epic Hollywood films, Neil Armstrong on the moon with the American flag, American Christmas, the Fourth of July, college, cruising, drag racing, monster trucks, roller coasters, ferris wheels, locomotives, recreational vehicles, Andy Griffith, South Park, Warner Brothers cartoons, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Old Faithful, dangerous crabbing, Johnny Carson, Pearl Harbor, the game of Monopoly, Arlington cemetery, the Wright Brothers, missions to Mars, talk radio, the dollar bill, the bald eagle, Statue of Liberty, dune buggies, cowboys, rodeos, and Catherine Zeta Jones.
OK, Catherine Zeta Jones is not American; But she really ought to be.

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