Tipping points and Formula 1

December 16, 2015

EmbracingComplexity

You may be interested in a book some of my colleagues have had published by Oxford University Press. It is called ‘Embracing Complexity’ and you can find more details on the OUP website:

https://global.oup.com/academic/product/embracing-complexity-9780199565269?cc=gb&lang=en&

The reason I raise it here is that complexity theory brings some interesting ideas to help us deal with and adapt to change. One of these ideas is the concept of the ‘Tipping Point’. The term actually originates from the work of epidemiologists – those who study epidemics – and was taken by journalist Malcolm Gladwell in his book of the same name (more details can be found at:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tipping-Point-Little-Things-Difference/dp/0349113467/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1450271936&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Tipping+Point)

essentially it is when something reaches critical mass – it could be a disease like AIDS or it could be a social phenomenon such as Facebook or Twitter. Here change is created by a number of small events which suddenly ‘tip’ the phenomena from something relatively insignificant to something of global significance.

Formula 1 remains the biggest global phenomenon in motorsport, but many within and outside of it are suggesting that the business model is out of date and that ultimately it is not sustainable economically, technologically and, most importantly, in terms of generating interest and demand from consumers. Formula E has a very different model to F1 and is currently very much a minnow in comparison to the great whale. But the announcement yesterday that global luxury car brand Jaguar are planning to enter Formula E in 2016/17 in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering may just be one of those relatively small events that we look back on as a tipping point. Time will tell.

 

 

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