Faraday Futures is one of hundreds of firms joining the race to build the car of the future. Although one might argue that right now, they are kinda doing the equivalent of hitting the gas with the e-brake fully engaged.
It’s not that they’re taking Tesla head on, or that they went into production without having shown anybody this freaking car, it’s that at their big CES reveal of their flagship vehicle, the FF 91, senior vice president of R&D and engineering Nick Sampson broke the number one rule: Don’t ever ask a question you don’t know the answer to.
Look, I get it. You’re all hopped up on Soylent and The 7 Habits that Elon Musk Does Every Morning and fortune favors the bold and you’ve told your staff to Stay Curious. But do not let curiosity overtake your leadership. “I would like you to send the car to center stage,” his associate stammers a bit. “In the way you would do it if you arrive home one evening?”
Spoiler: The car doesn’t move.
If you watched the incredible 9 hr OJ doc you know that the biggest prosecution-side blunder of the case was asking the Juice to try on the glove without knowing if it would fit. Asking questions as a rhetorical technique is great (“Do our customers wants to wait for someone else to bring them the next big thing?”). But meetings aren’t about research, they’re about decisions made and how to take action.
Giving a presentation is just a matter of telling a story. If you do it right, it gets repeated just the way you said it. But when it goes wrong… that’s what people will talk about instead. Today we’re not talking about how it goes 0-60 this much faster than the Tesla competition. We’re talking about the failure of a feature that we would pretty much never use.
I’m saying this to you, the reader and leader, not to the bosses over at Faraday. The dude has taken his lashings. Besides, when it happens to Steve Jobs he loses it. Don’t let that happen to you.