What will be your Miura?
Innovation has been part of the human story since before the invention of the wheel. There is nothing new about innovation but, as someone born before the invention of the pocket calculator, I can say with some authority that one thing has changed in recent times: the pace of change. Significant innovations that used to come along every four or five years are now coming along every four or five months.
It took more than one hundred years to get from the invention of the phonograph in 1877 to the introduction of the CD in 1982. Since then we’ve seen wave after wave of new technology and the launch of music streaming services which have changed the way we buy and listen to music and even the structure of the music industry itself. The pace of change continues to accelerate, with the emergence of AI enabled devices, like Amazon’s Echo, which are starting to change the way we think about music.
Everyone in business today is familiar with the competitive pressure arising from this increased pace of change. It’s a particular challenge for big business but it affects us all. So what is the secret to the quick and effective introduction of new ideas, products and services?
What I love about this story is how clearly it illustrates the role experimentation plays in bringing new ideas to market. This was not a carefully considered and evaluated idea. It was not executed to a detailed plan. It was trial and error all the way. At the Turin motor show the car had no body; at the Geneva show it had no engine. And it was still really only a prototype when it went into production. But it went on to define the company.
The second thing it illustrates is the role of the mavericks; in this case the three talented engineers who gave up their own time and worked outside their normal constraints to bring their idea to life. I see this time and again – passionate, talented people who ignore or work around the rules to pursue their own ideas, quickly and cheaply.
Andrew Simmonds is Consulting Director at Clustre – the innovation brokers – www.clustre.net
The Lamborghini Miura pictured above is an early P400 lovingly restored by Cheshire Classic Cars www.cheshireclassiccars.co.uk