I’ve been writing about how anything can be designed and prototyped, even a venture or a business. Nailing a concept design is critical to long-term success, as both flaws and strong points telescope out far into the future. A rich example of how very critical concept design is can be seen in this thought from Dr. Mario Theissen, Director of BMW Motorsport. Here he’s talking about the design of their Formula 1 car:
"If you look at this small line between success and failure – the big difference there is whether your concept is right or not. If the concept of the car or the engine is not right, you won’t be able to fix it in the running season, you’ll have to come up with a new concept and that takes time and it requires total focus. If the concept is right – and that’s what we found out last year after a few races – and you just have not been able to exploit the potential of the concept, then you can make it."
Imagine if BMW Motorsport didn’t have to wait until the Formula 1 season started to know – really know – whether or not their fundamental car concept was quick enough to be a winner. The payoff would be tremendous, as it takes about $300 million to campaign a season of Formula 1, and for that kind of money, you might as well win a few races. You can prototype anything, and should. But doing it is quite another thing.