Startup, ready, set…GO! A Comparison of Racing Drivers with Scale Up Entrepreneurs.
Time to market is of the essence. As an entrepreneur, you have to be explosive. Exactly, like the racing driver, stay focused and alert. When you get the green lights, you need to be the quickest, find the line, and be bold. Time is of the essence. Get in pole position to Turn One.
Compare the setup for the racing driver — they depend on a crew, the team behind this with management, mechanics, analytics, trainers, advisers, sponsors, etc. Also, the machine, this monster of a technical wonder, has to be fine-tuned, tested, verified, and improved. To be successful is not about an individual. It is about the team. Being explosive is to get into the pole position, to lead. This way, you can win single races. To become the market leader — the champions, you need to be consistent over a long time and need endurance and grit. The individuals get strong through the team.
To a high degree, the blueprint for a startup business follows this recipe from racing, and to be among the best; you have to get up to the FORMULA ONE level.
Racing cars are incredibly complex machines, and so are businesses too.
Competing in existing markets with new technology and innovative concepts is not easy. It requires many skills, being extremely hands-on and pivoting when necessary. To become a market leader, you have to win a lot of races by being explosive, and at the same time, you need the endurance to stay in the game for the long term.
Heading a startup company is highly demanding; winning the championship requires the guts, skills, and determination to scale up your company. Go the whole way. Innovate or die!
I talked with a formula one driver about the parallels between racing drivers and startup companies. We must be explosive, as time-to-market (race track or business environment) is crucial. We also need to train to have the endurance for the whole season (for whatever time it takes to become the champion/market leader).
Formula One drivers are a breed more scarce than astronauts. It is a privilege to gain insights into their mentality and how their extreme skill set paired with the team makes them successful.
Something you should never take for granted, but that is crucial, are the safety aspects. A racing driver has to rely on the team that has done the proper checks, settings, and best possible product creation to make you feel safe. You are going to push the limits, as the racing driver told me; “any slightest doubt can make you fail.” Safety is crucial. We work with disrupting industrial automation and process control at ROCSOLE.
The operators have to rely on our actionable insights, the data unlocking higher potential in terms of uptime, reduced maintenance shutdowns, improved energy efficiency, and reduced carbon footprint. And the type of critical processes we are involved in means that SAFETY comes first.
Our team has vast experience in process operations, field commissioning, and operational optimization; we share our own experiences in bi-weekly town hall meetings.
Never get indifferent about safety! Stay alert. To our new hires, we tell them to ask questions, never to undertake any activities on sites they are not authorized to do, and to stop work if they have any sense of unsafety.
A new season with new regulations for Formula One is about to start. The testing of the vehicles and fine-tuning is ongoing. We have a new calendar year and business to handle. The year smells of excitement — let’s win the races and go for the championship*!
*Meaning that you have to go for the scale up phase. This way you can see what the true potential of your product and/or service is.