“Accelerate with Red Hat” was presented by Julia Landauer, a two-time NASCAR champion.
Hearing from Julia Landauer about NASCAR’s approach to innovation was a little surprising. Julia detailed how the collaborative culture in NASCAR has led to the biggest and most important innovations. In their case, these innovations save lives; from the materials used on the walls at the tracks they drive their cars close to 200 mph on, to how the cars themselves are built to absorb and disperse the energy upon impact on those scary looking crashes that allow the driver to walk away safely even after the car itself looks completely obliterated.
Watching this virtual discussion was eye-opening and reaffirming to me at the same time. I’ve spent a better part of my career selling and supporting open-source technologies so you can say I’ve bought into the principals of openness, collaboration and working together for the common good. However, there are more companies or even industries that thrive from the opposite approach. So, who’s to say which methodology is correct?
I always thought of the sport as a bunch of ultra-competitive people looking to tweak settings in their almost identical cars to gain the smallest advantage looking to shave another second or even millisecond from their lap time. So, I never thought collaboration to be driving force in the sport.
What would the technology industry look like if more companies collaborated for the good instead of their bottom line? Would other industries have already been helped to come up with advancements to help solve some of our generation’s most challenging issues?
One thing is for certain, we came away even more of a proponent of these ideals. Our customers are looking for ways to solve their unique challenges. As salespeople, we’re looking for unique ways to sell our products and services. But when it comes down to it, we believe that companies who truly put the customer’s needs first also put a strong emphasis on openness and collaboration, that’s how innovation is sped up, how the kinks are worked out faster and how companies like Red Hat and AWS are able to deliver bleeding edge technology that can be trusted.