“It became very clear to me sitting out there today that every decision I’ve made in my entire life has been wrong. My life is the complete opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every aspect of life, be it something to wear, something to eat – it’s all been wrong.”
The above quote, of course, comes from George Costanza, the great id-philosopher of Seinfeld fame.
My goal today is to associate that classic quote of pop culture with the US defense industry.
To wit, which US defense contractor best epitomizes George’s classic case of self-actualization?
Make no mistake: this is not by any means an easy achievement. To pass the “Costanza life test”, a defense contractor must screw up almost as if its business strategy depended upon its errors rather than its successes.
After the year Boeing’s had, filled with a string of competitive near-misses, the KC-X tanker bid and the 787 delay, some might nominate the Chicago-based aerospace giant.
But I disagree.
Sure, Boeing’s had a bad year.
But 12 months of bad luck and bad behaviour does not a Costanza life profile make.
No, it takes years and years of accumulated failure competitively, contractually and strategically to be the Costanza of the defense industry.
Yes, I have a particular company in mind. Can anybody guess?