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Of curtains and cup holders

Today I was teaching in Columbia Business School’s “Emerging Leader Development Program,” which as the name suggests is an executive education program focused on developing the leadership skills of younger, high-potential managers.  We were chatting about the interesting fact that the lowly cup-holder, introduced into the States by Honda in 1988, has by now become what I call a ‘non negotiable’ attribute in cars designed for the American market.  One of the participants in class, a woman from a foundation in the Middle East, said that cup holders were not particularly important or popular there.  But, she noted, what is important?  Curtains!  It seems that drivers (particularly women) appreciate the privacy that curtains afford.  Among other benefits, it means that they can take off some of the head gear that hides them from view and relax in the car.

I wouldn’t have thought of that in a million years.  Amazing. 

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