Car Guys vs. Bean Counters by Bob Lutz highlights the critical flaws with the product development process in the auto industry that lead to the demise and eventual bankruptcy for two of the big three auto manufacturers. The book details problems in the auto industry, but the lessons are applicable to all businesses.
From the preface “It is time to stop the dominance of the number crunchers, living in their perfect, predictable world (who fail, time and again), and give reins to the “product guys” (of either gender), those with vision and passion for the customer and their product or service.” Lutz goes on to say “It applies to any business. Shoemakers should be run by shoe guys, and supermarkets by supermarket guys. With the advice and support of their bean counters, absolutely, but with the final word going to those who live and breathe the customer experience. Passion and drive for excellence will win over the computer-like, dispassionate, analysis-driven philosophy every time.”
For another discussion of Car Guys vs. Bean Counters see Time magazine’s article Drive Off the Road by MBAs.