Don’t lift the bar, teleport it

F1 fans will know the popular mantra well-used across the sport, ‘If you’re not going forwards, you’re actually going backwards.’ It speaks volumes for everyone’s permanent devotion to improving through innovation (and invention of course). You see, over the course of a season teams will gain a handful of seconds per lap. Therefore, if you’re lapping at 1 minute 26 seconds and coming first on day one of the season, it wont be long before the guys running at 1 minute 27, 28 or 29 catch and then over take you. Improvement is a must. Every day.

Surely the metaphor is just as appropriate in your market as it is in Bernie Ecclestone’s? Yes you’ve done well and that industry recognition was deserved but now you’ve taught others what success looks like. You’ve actually made their job a little easier by blazing that trail, by launching that product, by being number one. They’ve had a chance to calibrate their effort, probably finding more finance, stronger personnel and creating a better infrastructure. This (on right) is Mozilla’s Songbird music application. Look familiar? I hope you pushed on when it was good.

Chris Bangle, BMW’s much-maligned chief designer provides me with a worthy example. He hasn’t just sharpened his CAD pencil, he’s completely rewritten his (and everyone else’s) designs. Don’t use wasteful metal, give it skin. Don’t have one style, employ a morphing one. George Lucas couldn’t do much better. Improve every day or get left behind.

As ever: simple, yet very difficult…

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