Thursday, August 28, 2008

Criticism Uncorked: Often not so bitter as it is good for us.

In the last post from the LM Vision Blog, Ari delineates the power and uniqueness of open criticism in the LM Community. One more thing that I would like to add is the power of protection that arises from this critique.

How can criticism be protection?

-When we have to invest $$$ to build a concept and need to know that a vehicle will meet with expectations and spark the imagination, we would rather know early EARLY on how people feel about the design. This early feeling with little money down, is worth its weight in gold, especially when contrasted to the Hundreds of Millions of dollars that is currently invested in the average new car model program.

-When we are looking to award prizes for designs from all across the world with little knowledge of who is submitting and from where they have come, we can rely on the community to police the provenance and inspiration of a concept. This oversight from people closest to our community is by FAR the best normative control from any misbehavior.

-When someone has submitted a concept that is below par for what is being asked, the community is quick to regulate that designer's expectations thereby protecting the reputation of the remainder of the community and that of the Company itself.

And on and on....

A community is an incredibly powerful way to speak the truth and to police itself if you can bear the weight of the criticism. It is not easy, and we are tried often by the difference of our expectations and the reality of that with which we are met. Often we are more than ready to react preemptively; more often than not we learn the ignorance in doing so.