Chapter 10

Maverick: No Rules. Just Right.

Tom Cruise played United Naval Aviator Lt. Pete Mitchell and flew the F-14A Tomcat with a call sign of Maverick in the 1986 movie Top Gun. Unauthorized tower flybys and dialogue like the one below with his instructor made the cocky, macho Maverick an inspiration to many, not just in combat.

Viper In case some of you are wondering who the best is, they are up here on this plaque. [turns to Maverick]
Viper Do you think your name will be on that plaque?
Maverick Yes, sir.
Viper That's pretty arrogant, considering the company you're in.
Maverick Yes, sir.
Viper I like that in a pilot.

The Outback Steakhouse restaurant chain uses a tagline of “No Rules. Just Right.” to convey its image of the untamed Australian outback. Fittingly, it is an American invention. The founders had never been to Australia when they started the restaurant, and there certainly is no “bloomin’ onion,” one of its more popular appetizers, that grows in Australia. One of the founders was quoted as saying, “I might have tried to bring back authentic Australian food, which Americans don't generally like. Our company sells American food and Australian fun.” And Australian beer and wine, which does sell to Americans!1

In technology it certainly helps to break the rules, because “disruption” is a respected term in much of the industry. Breaking rules, however, requires a plan with its own rules and discipline like the kind John Boyd mastered.

“40-Second Boyd” ...

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