Looking at the Boeing 737 problems

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An interesting analysis of the Boeing corporate culture and it's downfall. From David Perell:

WHY DID THE BOEING 737 MAX CRASH?
Airplane crashes capture an outsized share of attention. Even though they represent a small fraction of transportation-related crashes, their rarity and drama hold a steel grip on our hearts and minds. But what if we could understand the systemic issues that cause certain airplane crashes?

And David gets into the problem:

Why did the 737 Max crash? Because of a software failure.

Why did the software fail? Because Boeing’s executive team has lowered its engineering standards.

Why did Boeing lower its engineering standards? To lower costs and increase efficiency — the goal was to save money.

Why does Boeing save money at the expense of human lives? Because Boeing purchased McDonnell-Douglas in 1997 and absorbed its ultra-corporate culture with relatively low engineering standards. Since the acquisition, the company hasn’t innovated as fast as it once did. In lieu of actual innovation, the company cut corners to maintain growth rates.

Why did Boeing buy McDonnell-Douglas? Because the airplane manufacturing industry is consolidating, and Boeing is pursuing profit at the expense of human lives.

The actual story of the 737 Max crash begins with that McDonnell-Douglas purchase in 1997, 21 years before the first accident in late 2018. Unfortunately, media coverage of the crash mostly ignores Boeing’s corporate history.

This is more than a story about two airplane crashes. It’s a story about an iconic American giant that lost its way because of mergers, risk-aversion, and excessive outsourcing.

Fasten your seat belts, put your seat in the upright position, and prepare for takeoff.

A long but fascinating analysis - really interesting and Boeing is going to have to re-invent itself if it expects to survive.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on October 21, 2019 4:44 PM.

Heh - so true... was the previous entry in this blog.

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