Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

The Constraint That Conquered The Racing World

In the mid 2000s Audi asked its engineers to build a new and improved racing car. A simple request, if it weren’t for one caveat: just making the hot rod faster isn’t good enough.

But how do you win a race without going faster than your competitors?

For days the engineers scratched their heads over this riddle until they finally cracked it: the less pit stops you make, the less speed you need.

So not speed but quality would launch Audi to first place.

Propelled by this insight, the techies invented a new diesel technology. An invention that drove Audi to victory three years in a row.

The beauty of Audi’s success? It all started by asking a challenging and ambitious question.

Ikea’s team of designers was faced with a similar challenge when asked to come up with a new table the furniture firm could profitably sell for six euros.

After many hours at the drawing board and hundreds of calls with suppliers, the Ikea team realised it couldn’t be done. Not even by using its renowned honeycomb core tech.

Then one of the designers walked through the Ikea warehouse and had a lightbulb moment: “What if we saw one of our mass produced doors in half and stick four legs on it?”

The Ikea LACK table was born.

Limitations drive innovation.

P.S. Adam Morgan talks about constraints way more eloquently than I, check out his incredible book on Amazon.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach