Hello, I’m Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe - to-do app for business owners and their teams. I write essays, books, work on projects and I podcast for you using #iPadOnly in #NoOffice as I believe that work is not a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. More…

Fake exhaust pipes in cars… or how brands undermine their stories…


I love cars. I’ve been driving many cars in my life and I’m always interested in everything new there’s about them… but some news and trends are very short-sighted and sad. One of them is the design trend to “draw” fake exhaust pipes… and this lesson relates to any business, so here’s why I find it so bad:

Fake exhaust pipes in cars… or how brands undermine their stories…

Why “draw” fake exhaust pipes on cars?

It’s hard to say who started the trend, but I believe the idea was to make people feel like they have a sports car without paying for one. So the designers started drawing fake exhaust pipes on the back of the cars so that people could feel better about their cars and themselves.

A trend like this is actually pretty funny but it becomes a problem when it goes upscale to the high end cars. Let me explain why this small “detail” is a big deal:

Premium cars have their story… or do they?

Premium cars have their story - they cost more because they are more… built with better materials, better engineering, better care… and Audi particularly is the brand that has always kept saying this about themselves: “Vorschprung durch Technik”, meaning “Advancement through Technology”… so when they introduce a “technology of fake exhaust pipes” in their top-of-the-line sports utility vehicle (Audi Q8 which can cost more than $100K), what’s the new story they’re telling their customers?

“Fake is almost real”? “Advancement through faking technology”? “We care about the bottom-line more about our story, legacy or customers”?

This “fake exhaust” trend is a short term game. It undermines what the company stands for. What the company’s customers believe in.

I’m an Audi owner myself. Luckily my 2017 car still has normal exhaust pipes. This new Audi Q8 is not a car I want to buy but as an Audi owner and car enthusiast I was curious about what Audi is planning for the future… so imagine my surprise seeing they’re planning on drawing fake exhaust pipes on cars. I’m apparently very confused about Audi’s story now.

Businesses should avoid short-term gimmicks that impact their story…

I’ve been running my small business for the last 11 years, I can’t afford to run short-term trends/scams like this one. I have to think long-term, because people who use Nozbe also want to bet on it long-term to help them get stuff done every single day. This is our story. This is what we stand for. This is what we believe in. This is what we want our customers to believe in, too.

We must protect our story by making sound long term decisions.

If you’re a business owner - think long term. Don’t buy into the momentary trends. Focus on what’s universal and take really good care of your story. It’s all that distinguishes you from the competition. Your story is your legacy.

Don’t be like Audi.

Here’s the clip from a review of Audi Q8 that reveals the fake exhaust pipe:

Friday, July 27, 2018 /audi/