“You can’t run a racing team by committee…”Matt Damon’s character says in the movie Ford vs. Ferrari.
Corporations try to do the same thing with ventures. And just like Ford’s embarrassing racing #fails leading into the start of the movie, the results are, well, not effective. While the movie is worth a watch, there’s another story going on simultaneously. This one is subtle, almost imperceptible, and unless you look for it, you’ll miss it.
It’s the story of how Ford used what we know of today as a venture ecosystem to build a racing juggernaut and sell a few hundred thousand cars in the process.
How the Race Was Won
In the early 1960s, Ford Racing burned through enough money to feed a small country and didn’t have much to show for it. Why? They had brand, money, R&D facilities, engineering talent, and yet with all that, winning still eluded them. So, as the movie shows us, Lee Iacocca went to Carroll Shelby with an idea: partner with Ford Motor to build a race car that would win the coveted 24 hours of Le Mans race. The result? Ford won Le Mans in 1966, 1967, 1968, and 1969. And the commercial iteration, the Mustang, sold 400,000 units in the first year. More than that it’s a cultural icon and has been a staple Ford brand since the 1960s.
The Takeaway for Corporations
In a sense, Shelby did then what TechNexus does for leading corporations today. What Shelby did in partnership with Ford was nothing short of building an ecosystem of designers, engineers, and drivers, using technology to disrupt the status quo. (Did we mention the 400,000 Mustangs sold in the first year it was offered?)
At TechNexus we help you find entrepreneurs and ventures that are working to solve the same issues you are, invest in them, incubate them, and commercialize the result – faster than and at a fraction of the cost of traditional R&D budgets.
TechNexus helps leading corporations and entrepreneurs partner with each other to grow revenue, create new business models, and increase market share by discovering previously unseen threats, creating valuable partnerships, or taking advantage of investment opportunities.