THE SHOP

Performance & Hotrod Business - May '15

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6 n Performance & Hotrod Business n May 2015 Every job is different. This is especially true in the custom car-building business. Something always needs to be designed, engineered, or fabri- cated. It's not a mass-production business. In fact, the custom car-building business can be a gamble: is the part—the one that determines how the next 50 parts go together—correct? If it's wrong, you may need to back up and tear out a bunch of other parts that are also wrong. Halfway through is the point when a project looks its worst. It takes imagination and vision to see past the clutter to the gem hidden behind the rust and beneath the dust. And halfway through is probably as bad a time as any to quit. So you keep going, hoping you had a clear vision from the start. It's rough having to accept that sometimes progress means going backwards. Maybe when the project is at the halfway-done point is when you discover this. Halfway through—when all is not as it originally seemed, (that is, every panel that might have had some hidden rust, had a lot of hidden rust; every part you thought might be in stock turns out being something you have to make; every 10-minute task takes two hours; etc.)—you might ask yourself: is this worth it? After so many do-overs, it might be tempting to abandon the effort: cut the losses; throw in the towel; find something else to do. Every job has this potential, which increases exponentially as the project becomes more complex, consumes more time and completion feels more like a dream and less like reality. Every company, big and small, has this potential. According to analysts, the most dismal project failure by a Fortune 500 company in history—ahead of New Coke and Crystal Pepsi—was the Edsel. Countless studies have sought to explain the reasons behind Ford's decision to build the car in the first place, what it was that made it so utterly resistible to consumers and why, in the end, the company decided it was better to cut its losses rather than to con- tinue pouring resources into the Edsel black hole. The decision to abandon the Edsel project may have saved the Ford Motor Co. from disaster because the project was so ill-conceived and such a money pit. Ironically, nowadays Edsels are valuable—not so much because they're so great as because they're so rare—because of that decision to pull the plug. There's no magic formula for avoiding such pitfalls. Yet we soldier on, determined that the next do-over will be right. Like change, success seldom arrives as a result of an amazing breakthrough or cataclysmic event. More likely, it arrives in small increments. Realizing it and bathing in it requires not only diligence, but also tremendous amounts of patience. And this applies not only to broad social movements, but also to the small changes that occur as a project takes shape. Taking on a project that may involve engineering every incidental item can be a black hole of time, money and materials. Failure—and the fear of failure—is a powerful and undeniable reality. But it's also a great motivator. Black Holes n DRiveR's seat Publisher Kent Bradley – kbradley@nbm.com Associate Publisher Michael Murray – mmurray@nbm.com Executive Editor Jef White – jwhite@nbm.com Managing Editor Eddie Wieber – ewieber@nbm.com __________________________________ Art Director Linda Cranston – linda@nbm.com Graphic Designer Dayne Pillow – dpillow@nbm.com __________________________________ ADVERTISING SALES Michael Murray – mmurray@nbm.com SALES ASSISTANT Becca Corona – rcorona@nbm.com __________________________________ Advertising Production Coordinator Kristina Steiner – ksteiner@nbm.com ___________________________________ TRADE SHOW SALES Laurie Zydonik – laurie@nbm.com Trade Show Sales Coordinator Jackie Horn – jhorn@nbm.com ___________________________________ Technical Contributor Mike Mavrigian – birchwdag@frontier.com Contributing Writers JoAnn Bortles, Timothy F. Bednarz, John Carollo, Regis Finn, John Gunnell, Patricia Kaowthumrong, John F. Katz, Harry Weimann __________________________________ NATIONAL BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. President & CEO Robert H. Wieber, Jr. Vice President / Integrated Media John Bennett Vice President / Publishing Dave Pomeroy Vice President / Finance Kori Gonzales, CPA Vice President, NBM Events Susan Hueg, CEM, CMP susan@nbm.com Director of Audience Development Lori Farstad Director of IT Wolf Butler Eddie Wieber Managing Editor

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