It's All in the Detail

Last Updated Oct 13, 2008 8:48 PM EDT

I drive what's known as a "compact recreational vehicle" and I'm very happy with it, thank you very much.

I can get my family and most of our worldly goods inside, my kayak straps easily onto the roof and I can lower the steering wheel and kid myself I'm driving a sportscar.

What's more it bounces easily off supermarket trolleys and parked cars and it's small enough that I can look scornfully at big four wheel drives. All in all it's a corker.

But less than a year after I bought it, something happened that still surprises me. For purely aesthetic reasons, the manufacturer spray their exhaust pipes black. Due I'm sure to the extreme heat, a very visible section of the black paint flaked off revealing a shiny silver base.

It's happened to just about every other model I see. Last week I saw it on one that couldn't have been more than a few weeks old.

What does a panel of missing paint on a new car say to you? What does it say when the same problem has been allowed to continue?

In our quest to satisfy the big picture, let's not lose sight of the importance of detail and the signals we send.

Seen something that bugs you? Post a comment and let's hear it.

  • Robert Gerrish

    Robert Gerrish is a coach, author and professional speaker and the founder of Flying Solo (, the Australian online community for solo business owners.