There’s a strange irony in the fact that we spend most of the time trying to get somewhere. Yet the thing which drives me and gets me up in the morning is actually about going from 0mph to 0mph and everything in-between.
The perfect run for the land speed record is enabled not by just reaching 800mph but by decelerating, turning the car and repeating the process in the opposite direction. The value is in delivering consistent performance from stand-still through peak to end and repeat.
The graph below shows the perfect run for Bloodhound SSC. The blue line highlighting the velocity from 0mph to 0pmh and the red line showing the acceleration rate.
This view resonates beyond a land speed record team. The objective here is to inspire the next generation by attempting a land speed record. Not reaching 800mph, but by reaching 800mph safely, decelerating, turning and repeating the process. All of this becomes real and meaningful by communicating and sharing the experience to a global audience, Bloodhound is as much an engineering adventure as it is a strategic communications company.
This focus beyond the statement of 800mph is what separates sustainable businesses and ‘welfare benefit’ / ‘zombie’ organisations that remain reliant on the next investment round.
Too often effort is built around the peak when actually the objective goes beyond the top stat. Take Apple, their success is not just founded on the next hardware release but the entire ecosystem that turns it into a sustainable and meaningful business. The developer ecosystem, the upgrade model, the continued hardware improvements, accessories and more make it meaningful – Apple is more than just the iPhone.
I am not saying we don’t talk or promote the record-breaking figure – but we don’t do so in isolation, and recognise what makes a difference and what is sustainable.