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    Entries in cars (4)


    GUEST POST: American Muscle Cars, Ranked

    Editor's Note: Today, in a very special event on the Steve Boese blog, we present (another) very, very rare guest post. 

    Today's post is from none other than the star of stage and screen William Tincup, HCM industry thought leader. Prior to immersing himself in the world of HR and HR Tech, William piloted fighter jets with the Navy, and allegedly had an encounter with a Russian MiG in disputed airspace in the South Pacific. Later, William went on to graduate from the prestigious Naval Aviator's academy in Southern California, where he also gained notice with his singing and volleyball playing ability.

    William has always had that proverbial 'need to speed', so today we present this take on a very, very important topic: American muscle cars.


    Classic American Muscle Cars, Ranked

    By William Tincup

    Notice the word classic. So, if you're pissed that your 2017 Corvette Z isn't listed, well, this list isn't for you. Similar but different, this list will not rank Jaguars or Lamborghini’s, etc. By using the words "classic" and "American" the list is really focused on the greatness that was produced here in the 60's and 70’s. Okay, okay. Here we go...


    10. 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30

    Speed: 0 to 60 mph: 5.7 secs

    Exterior: Sebring Yellow (Black trim)

    Interior: Black



    09. 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

    Speed: 0 to 60 mph: 5.3 secs

    Exterior: Dusk Blue

    Interior: Black



    08. 1970 Pontiac GTO 455 Judge

    Speed: 0 to 60 mph: 6.0 secs

    Exterior: Orbit Orange

    Interior: Black

    Convertible preferred

    07. 1969 Dodge Charger 500

    Speed: 0 to 60 mph: 5.5 secs

    Exterior: Bright Red (white trim)

    Interior: Black



    06. 1970 Plymouth Cuda 440

    Speed: 0 to 60 mph: 5.6 secs

    Exterior: In-Violet (Black trim)

    Interior: Black



    05. 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429

    Speed: 0 to 60 mph: 5.5 secs

    Exterior: Candyapple Red

    Interior; Black



    04. 1968 Chevrolet Corvette 427

    Speed: 0 to 60 mph: 6.5 secs

    Exterior: British Green

    Interior: Tobacco

    Convertible preferred


    03. 1967 Shelby GT500

    Speed: 0 to 60 mph: 4.8 secs

    Exterior: Silver Frost (Black trim)

    Interior: Black


    02. 1967 Pontiac GTO

    Speed: 0 to 60 mph: 5.2 secs

    Exterior: Signet Gold

    Interior: Parchment



    01. 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454

    Speed: 0 to 60 mph: 5.3 secs

    Exterior: Misty Turquoise

    Interior: Ivory

    Convertible preferred


    Something to think about. In your opinion, when does a typical mid-life crisis occur for men? Pick a range of years. Now, think back to the guys (and gals) that fought in WWII. Would the makers of these classic cars AND buyers of these cherry rides... would they be in that mid-life crisis range? Probably huh. Well, now you know where innovation really comes from. 

    You can comment if you like, but if you disagree with me, of course you would be wrong.

    Steve here - fantastic stuff, William. Love the Chevelle at #1. Also am a big fan of the Cuda. But I would gladly take any of them.

    Have a great weekend!


    Thinking about what no one knows they're missing

    A couple of months ago I posted about the continuing advances in driverless vehicle technology, and the implications on work and worker's commutes to the office in an environment where essentially, everyone has a technological chauffeur to ferry them to their job. My point in the piece was, more or less, that driverless vehicle technology would potentially one day add hours of 'productive' time to a commuter's day - taking calls, reading documents, even creating and writing while on the go.  Freed from the task of actually driving the car, the driver becomes a passenger - and gains the benefits from reduced stress, (driverless cars probably won't pass on their road rage to you), and more flexibility. 

    Whether you think driverless cars, (and trucks, and eventually even planes), are dangerous, unreliable, or even scary, the truth seems like they are coming - and probably sooner than most of us think. 

    Similar could be said for some of the other latest advances in technology. Take Google Glass for example. Just a year or so ago the idea of a wearable, always-on, internet connected, and voice activated computing device seemed pretty far-fetched. Today the initial wave of beta-testers are using the device, developers are building new and purpose-built apps for the platform, and a slew of 'experts' (including me), have offered up advice and opinion about the implications and use of Glass in work and business. I saw another slightly different manifestation of wearable computing this week when my pal Lance Haun rocked a Pebble smartwatch at a recent event.

    What do driverless vehicle technology and wearable computing tech like Google Glass have in common?

    Probably a few things, but the one element I want to call out is this - they are technology breakthroughs that are not directly responding to some express need or desire on the part of either existing customers or the general public.  They are for the most part - green field, blue ocean, 'insert-your-favorite-hack-expression-for-something-brand-new-here'.

    This week I've been at the SilkRoad Connections event - a conference for the company's customers, partners, and some media and analysts.  At the event, keynoter Dan Pink, (famous for the book Drive), offered, almost as an aside from his speech on motivation, what he thought was going to be the most important skill in the future, (paraphrased in my tweet below)



    Glass, planes that fly themselves, the next incredible technological or business breakthrough - the common factor will be that none of them will be really based on listening to customers or conducting focus groups.

    They will spring from the imagination of innovators and from people savvy enough to 'discover' needs that today don't exist.

    It's wonderful and important to spend your day thinking about and helping to solve people's problems. But even there, advances in computing threaten to turn 'problem solving' into a game for the robots and super computers.

    If you want to be really memorable and outlast the rest, you have to solve problems that don't even seem to exist and to give people things that they never knew they needed.


    Work, productivity, and driverless cars

    The last 30 years or so have seen the dramatic impact of technology upon the workplace - from the PC revolution, to email, to sophisticated ERP systems to better manage the flow of material and information, all the way to the present day, where social, mobile, and video technologies continue to disrupt how, where, and with whom work gets done. Certainly the workplaces and the methods of getting work done, almost to a job, look nothing today like they did just 15 or 20 years ago. And no doubt technology will continue to advance and impact work - what the future of wearable computing like Google Glass holds is of particular interest to me.

    But our friends at Google are at the forefront of another new technology development that also has the potential to dramatically alter work and productivity - perhaps just not in the ways we are accustomed to seeing how workplace technology changes our jobs, patterns, and behaviors. While Google Glass has enormous disruptive potential, in some ways the autonomous car, being developed at Google (and several other places as well), perhaps has the potential to have a more direct and sudden effect on work and how work gets done, (and how much more of it potentially gets done).

    According to recent statistics, workers in large US cities spend as much as 40 minutes each-way commuting to work, and just about 75% of them make the journey by themselves in their car.  In the worst cities for commuting, perhaps a city where your organization has facilities, as many as 3/4 of your workers are, on average, spending more than an hour each day in their cars, stressed, getting frustrated, and with the exception of the occasional business call, (taken 'hands-free' of course), getting almost nothing productive accomplished. 

    The driverless car - and don't think it is THAT far away from becoming a reality, Google's testing has logged well over 300K miles so far - would instantly transform that hour or hour and a half from empty time to potentially productive time. From the Google piece linked above:

    This is an important milestone, as it brings this technology one step closer to every commuter. One day we hope this capability will enable people to be more productive in their cars.

    Imagine cleaning our your entire email Inbox before arriving at work, or having that conference call with clients while actually paying attention, or even doing a video chat with colleagues that are kicking back in their driverless cars on the way to the office.

    If the recent hubbub from Yahoo! and Best Buy around the need for employees 'physically being together' catches on more widely - then it will just put more workers back on the road. Driverless cars are the one technology solution that has the potential to almost instantly turn down time into productive time, and enable your commuting workers to take back just a little bit of their lives. Which is kind of ironically what teleworking policies were meant to do.

    The next great workplace tech breakthrough just might be the one that takes you to the workplace.


    A Good Idea is Just an Idea, or Why You are Not Driving a Smart Car

    You've probably seen, or if you don't live too close to a major urban area, have at least heard of a relatively new vehicle known as the Smart Car. The Smart Car, designed to be a highly fuel-efficient and easy to maneuver and park utility vehicle, (obviously important in many U.S. cities), debuted in America a few years ago, and reaching its sales peak in 2008, just as domestic gas prices were soaring.

    The Smart Car is not just 'smart', but its also quite small. Almost incredibly, jarringly, and even disorienting small. To put the Smart Car in perspective, the length of a 2011 Honda Accord is about 195 inches , for the Smart Car you are looking at about 106 inches. Or for another frame of reference, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stands at about 86 inches.

    But from its peak in 2008, Smart Cars have in the last few years seen a gradual, yet steady decline in awareness, interest, and sales. The most recent annual estimate was about 6,000 Smart Cars were sold in 2010.

    The parent company of Smart, Daimler, has recently announced that Smart Cars will be the beneficiary of a new national advertising campaign, and has also indicated the dealer network in the U.S. will expand from 75 to 100. While this is good news for fans and employees of Smart, only time will tell if these measures can turn around the flailing brand. 

    Even for a truck driving, HR Mini scoffing, traditionalist like me the Smart Car seems like it would be kind of fun to drive. So why are sales in a free fall?

    And why should you care about the (short) rise, fall, and uncertain future of the Smart Car?

    Well to me, the story offers a few interesting angles, the foremost one a lesson about how an idea, even an idea that seems like it should succeed, often needs much more than its own cleverness to make any kind of a lasting impact. My most measures, the Smart Car really should be a success. It is extremely economical in purchase and in operating cost, its diminutive dimensions make it a perfect vehicle for urban settings, and its quirky uniqueness caters well to the 'look at me and what I'm driving' constituency among us.  The Smart Car website contains scores of pictures of happy Smart owners, (many with highly personalized modifications of the base vehicle that emphasize its flexibility and fun.

    But even with all these attributes going for it, the Smart Car is in trouble. And the main reason is that the brand managers have allowed pre-perceptions, often inaccurate ones particularly about the vehicle's crash-worthiness, dominate potential customers and the public's views of the car. People look at the tiny car and often reflexively conclude there's no way I'd be safe in a car so small. 

    And that is kind of too bad, because despite what really is a cool idea - economical, agile, quirky urban transportation, the Smart Car might soon become a footnote, albeit a small one, in automotive history.

    The Smart Car was, and I suppose still is, a really good idea. Too bad for Smart, the company has not quite realized a good idea in only step one on the long march to success.