It was 1958 when I heaped the last shovelfull of dirt upon my old life. I paused for a moment, opened a beer, and then got up and became the head of GM powertrain engineering.

Even the magazines cottoned on to how strange it was that General Motors, an extremely conservative, insular organization, would open its kimono and allow in a foreign man with no work history and a name that didn’t come up in the social security register. No mind, felt my betters, it was time for a new General Motors, one that wasn’t afraid to take on Volkswagen.

I sat in my opulent office in the Renaissance Centre and looked out over the bustling metropolis of Detroit. One day, I thought, I will burn this all down around me. That’s when I heard a knock at the door, and turned in my office chair to see the intern standing there.

“Sir,” he screamed, “Sir, there’s been a problem in production. the latest engines don’t make enough horsepower.”

I didn’t need to hear any more. Nothing needed to be said. I rose from my desk, adopting the classic power pose, Arms outstretched, eye contact locked, and asked him to turn the lights off. A film projector dropped from the ceiling.


We both heard a jaunty jingle and then the words appeared on the wall:



Ayn Rand would be proud.