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How terrible products get built

The story of the Pontiac Aztek

Pontiac-Aztek-INLINE-626x352These things require a culture of complete acquiescence and intimidation, led by a strong dictatorial individual who wants it that way.

The danger with the totalitarian management style is that people won’t speak up when there’s a problem. They’ll get their heads cut off or the messenger gets shot.

From the project leader on the Aztek:

We’ve all made up our minds that the Aztek is gonna be a winner. It’s gonna astound the world. I don’t want any negative comments about this vehicle. None. Anybody who has bad opinions about it, I want them off the team.

Teams need to be a safe place for people to have opinions, and good leaders need to be able to hear those opinions and evaluate them without ego or hubris getting in the way.

Read the entire article from Car and Driver

About the author Sam Hotchkiss

Sam currently leads development on the widely used Jetpack plugin at Automattic, he's started and run multiple successful companies, and enjoys taking photos when he gets the chance. When they're not traveling, Sam and his wife, Becky, live in beautiful New Mexico, where he passes the time by talking about himself in third person.

All posts by Sam Hotchkiss →

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