Monday, May 16, 2016

Porsche - The Resource for Business Leaders

Porsche, as a business, started April 25th 1931 as Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche KG, a design consulting firm. For clarification, Dr. Ing. means Doktor der Ingenieurwissenschaften, which is a Doctorate in Engineering, h.c. means Honoris Causa, which indicates the Doctorate was an honorary degree. F. Porsche is the founder's name, Ferdinand Porsche. KG means Kommanditgesellschaft, which is a limited partnership.
During 1972/73 Porsche KG became Porsche AG. AGmeans Aktiengesellschaft, which is a corporate, shareholder type, business entity. Since 2007 Porsche AG is wholly owned byPorsche Zwischenholding GmbHZwischenholding meaning intermediate holding company, and GmbH, Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung, which is a legal entity with limited liability. Simultaneously Porsche Automobil Holding SE, was created. SE means Societas Europaea, which is the legal designation for a European Union public company. I won't rehash the circumstances that brought Volkswagen in to the picture, but if you want to catch up on the lastest chapter of that dramatic episode check out the Google timeline.So it's a company, but is it a good company?
Instead of going over their financials I thought maybe a more interesting way to look at it would be from an outsider's perspective. Good companies tend to be admired and written about. We know the cars are written about extensively, but what about the company?
I figure what better place to start looking than with published case studies. Usually these are a form of advertising, as opposed to providing an opinion, but the fact that one company is willing to present the work they did for Porsche as a testament to what they can do for another is compelling enough for me. So here are a few I was able to find:
  • Microsoft Xbox Live
  • HP
  • IBM (this one is in German)
  • 3D Systems
  • Industrial Developments International, Inc (IDI)
  • Harte-Hanks Trillium Software
  • Fantasy Interactive, Inc. (Fi) - Bloodlines
  • Fantasy Interactive, Inc. (Fi) - Panamera
  • Intechnica
  • Think Monster
  • Mailguard
The Harvard Business Review (HBR) has been presenting insights to how business does, and should, run just about as long as Porsche's been making cars. And beleive it or not they have a few Porsche case studies to consider. Unfortunately, if you want to check them out you'll have to pay a nominal fee. I think they have enough content to create a special edition issue of Porsche reprints. Would you buy it if they made it?
  • Porsche, Volkswagen, and CSX: Cars, Trains, and Derivatives
  • Porsche Changes Tack
  • Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG (A): True to Brand?
  • Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG (B): Made in Germany
  • Porsche Exposed
  • Porsche AG
  • Bringing the College Inside
Another good way to check outsider's perspective is in their actual advertising. How many times have you seen car product ads present a Porsche? All the time? I'll put that list together another time.
In the mean time, let me know if you have any questions, comments, concerns, or would like to see something specific added to the site or covered in a post.

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