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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Anyone who's followed my blog over the years will know that I'm a bit of a F1 fan (see Hooray for the smaller F1 teams back in 2007).

Today we saw a historic moment when Brawn GP, risen from the ashes of Honda, made it a one-two in Australia.

For me, it illustrates perfectly the opportunity for new business in the current economic climate as smaller, more nimble businesses can take advantage of change and outmanoeuvre more established brands.

Whilst Maclaren and Ferrari had their eyes on the championship race last year, Ross Brawn at Honda effectively scrapped their car and started working on building a race winner aimed at the impending rule changes for 2009.

He saw a change in the market and took full advantage of it while his competitors were focused on getting every ounce out of their current model.

Think about these elements in relationship to businesses in the current economic climate:

1) Change - just like the rule changes in F1, there are huge changes happening right now. For many it means a fundamental re-think of their business model. Larger, more established market players find change difficult are always slow to react.

2) Ownership - When Honda pulled out it presented Ross Brawn with an opportunity for a management buy out. No doubt, it wasn't easy, but it enabled a small private company to leverage the R&D might of a world-leading manufacturer.

An interesting article in the Sunday Times today "Picking Over The Scrap" forecasts that "huge numbers of firms and assets will change hands" in the coming months and years. That level of new ownerships will introduce changes that offer a excellent new business opportunities.

3) New Entrants - not only was Brawn GP a new entrant, it pulled in Richard Branson and Virgin into F1. Whilst ING and RBS wind down their sponsorship over the coming seasons, other sponsors will take their place (particularly as F1 looks to reduce its costs). New market entrants bring new opportunities.

So, whether you're a F1 fan or not, buckle yourself in as 2009 looks set to be both a disruptive and entertaining ride.

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Posted by: David Regler @ 11:55 am |   | Links to this post  

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