Are You Saying What You Really Mean?

I just got through listening to one of Tim Ferriss’ podcasts where he mentioned that Naval Ravikant told him once that he was dressed like a gay banker. This and the notion of always telling the truth was fresh on my mind when I saw this advertisement for a Cirrus Aircraft with a self-deploying airplane parachute.


On the surface it sounds pretty cool, right? If the plane goes down, it has it’s own parachute. But what about what’s under the surface?

I have a good friend who’s been a pilot for a very long time. From talking with him, it would seem like anytime there’s a critical malfunction in a plane and not user error, it is the skill of the pilot that often brings the plane down safely with nothing more than a minor jostle and a heavier than normal landing, if even that. Almost all plane malfunctions and hard landings take place without anyone ever outside of the professional realm ever knowing about it.

Wouldn’t a plane with a parachute remove all aspect of skill and put your safety in the hands of a machine that already failed you?

It gets worse.

The ad mentions 72 lives saved. On the surface, that sounds pretty good. The parachute works. People didn’t die. Under the surface, though…whew! Think about it. Seventy-two times, in this plane, pilots have experienced malfunctions that required deploying the parachute. This plane crashed 72 times, and Cirrus is proud of it.

I wonder if that’s what they really wanted us to take from this ad? Can you imagine the ad if it was done by Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man in the World?


“I don’t crash planes often, but when I do I fly Cirrus.”

Do you do this where you work? Are you proud of the wrong things? Do you say the right things in the wrong way? Always have someone play devil’s advocate and glance over your official communications before they go out. And I always recommend that you be very careful using stats about malfunctions, injuries, and deaths in your ads.

Disclaimer…I am not a pilot. Everything I’m saying here that goes beyond what I see on TV is based on conversations with a professional pilot friend.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at Thanks for reading!


One thought on “Are You Saying What You Really Mean?

  1. Pingback: Customer Satisfaction is a Pain | Mastering the Art of Living

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