October 09, 2018

By Gonzalo López Martí  - Creative director, etc / LMMiami.com

  • A Pyrrhic victory: one in which the winner’s losses are as great as those of the defeated*.
  • Or even greater.
  • See, there’s a problem with Pyrrhic victories: sometimes they are not manifest at first glance.
  • They come disguised as tactical wins.
  • Porsche is making a killing since it delved into the SUV category.
  • Whomever made that call sure got a fat bonus.
  • Question is, what kind of long-term effect will the purebred, badass sports DNA of the Porsche brand sustain after years and years of car buyers seeing all those Cayennes parked at yoga class?
  • Even weekend car enthusiasts know that the Cayenne is essentially a thinly veiled, overpriced triplet sibling of the Audi Q7 and the Volkswagen Touareg.
  • With a different logo and some cosmetic additions.
  • Sure enough: fixing these types of branding shots in the foot is what puts food on the table for experts like you and me.
  • In a way, we’re accomplices too.
  • At the very least guilty of looking the other way.
  • How can we persuade a CMO to take the long view when she or he has a CEO, a board of directors and a bunch of fickle Wall Street brokers breathing down her or his neck?
  • Can we expect long-term strategic thinking from folks who might be out of their cushy jobs if they don’t show their numbers are up by the next quarter?
  • Corporate life is a minefield.
  • Which brings us to the mother of all Pyrrhic victories: putting career over family & health.
  • You spend 75% of your time on the road pinching your vertebrae, clogging your arteries and climbing the corporate ladder to pay for the lease of the Porsche Cayenne and the piano lessons.
  • Next thing you know, your significant other is having a torrid affair with the piano teacher.
  • As the saying goes: “ahhhh, if I knew then what I know now”.
  • The armchair pastime of Monday morning quarterbacks.
  • A Pyrrhic victory quite pervasive in the corporate world is obsessing over scale.
  • Pursuing scalable, volume-based business models.
  • Growing too much too fast.
  • Peaking too early.
  • Be careful what you wish for.
  • Look at all the scandals engulfing Mark Z and his bunch of increasingly beleaguered companies: at this he will be an ostracized unemployed philanthropist in his mid 30s.
  • “Too big to change” is the new “too big to fail”.
  • Large organizations holding itself hostages and forcing the rest of us to keep them alive.
  • If they move, tax them.
  • If they keep moving, regulate them.
  • If they stop moving, subsidize them.
  • Speaking of tactical wins.
  • The Brett Kavanaugh episode was a textbook Pyrrhic victory.
  • For the GOP and for the Dems too.
  • For Washington DC as a whole.
  • The Hill opened its kimono and I don’t think ‘murica liked what it saw.
  • Or the world for that matter.
  • A dude cannot be thrust into a seat at the Supreme fxxxing Court when there’s reasonable doubt about past sexual misconduct.
  • The Dems, however, will not walk out of this unscathed either.
  • Whatever happened to the sacred Constitutional tenet of the “presumption of innocence”?
  • Someone comes out of the woodwork with an accusation three decades after the fact and the accused is automatically guilty?
  • Really?
  • Both parties incinerated enormous amounts of political capital along these recent proceedings.
  • More so the GOP, if you ask me.
  • They might have secured a Conservative-leaning Supreme Court for decades to come but they’ve seriously tarnished their brand in the process.
  • It was supposed to be the party of free trade and meritocracy.
  • It is now a faction of protectionists, isolationists, nativists, paranoia and cult of personality.

*The original Pyrrhic victory came courtesy of Pyrrhus of Epirus, a Greek king who was undone by his costly battles against the Romans. Pyrrhus first invaded Italy in 280 B.C. after allying himself with Tarentum, a Greek-speaking city that resented the Roman Republic’s increased domination over their homeland. He arrived with a force of some 25,000 men and 20 war elephants—the first the Roman legionaries had ever faced—and immediately scored a famous victory in his first battle at Heraclea. The following year, he bested the Romans a second time during a heated clash at Asculum. Pyrrhus fancied himself a latter-day Alexander the Great, and he’d hoped his invasion would give his empire a foothold in Italy. But while he’d routed the Romans at both Heraclea and Asculum, he had also lost more than 7,500 of his most elite fighters, including many officers. Pyrrhus had no way of replacing his casualties, and his failure to deal the enemy a deathblow sent morale plummeting within his ranks. According to the ancient historian Plutarch, the warrior king was quoted as muttering, “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.” Following a setback at the Battle of Beneventum in 275 B.C., he reluctantly called off his campaign and sailed back to Greece. Source: History.com

 

 

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