How the Big 3 can save themselves...
As you know, the Senate denied the bailout for the Big 3 automakers yesterday. There were mixed reactions (see the comments). I drive an American car, while my family drives primarily Japanese cars, and many friends drive German, Australian, and Swedish cars (well, I guess Indian too, now that Tata has bought up Jaguar and Land Rover). Its clear which ones are seriously lagging in quality in the American market.
A couple of us were sitting around talking about it yesterday...what now? theonlyrepublican.com proposes an interesting solution: rather than put a $14 Billion dollar bailout, put a little bit of that money (about $1 Billion) into an X PRIZE type of competition.
Well, as you know...we already have one...the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE...and none of the Big 3 have entered yet, even though they could have a lot to gain out of it. I think they should. What have they got to lose right now??
Actually, if I were them, and faced firing hundreds of my employees, I'd open up the X PRIZE competition to my employees instead, and possibly add a couple of bonuses on top. Thinking $1-$5 M bonus on top to anyone who came up with a truly innovative idea the quickest (essentially incentivizing them to beat out the competition). This is what I would tell them:
- Form your teams
- Enter the competition.
- Show me your project plan.
- Once approved, the company will pay half your entrance fees, $2000 per month flat for each team, plus upto ten team members per team get to keep their benefits (health insurance, etc) for the next year (to prove progress)
- Deadline to the enter the competition is Feb 28, 2009...so get cracking.
- Once entered and officially approved, you can use company facilities for office space; and company labs on a case-by-case basis.