Finding your ‘Audi Quattro’ moment

The phrase ‘a Concord moment’ describes an event that is groundbreaking, triggering a revolution much like the Concorde’s role in aviation history. My childhood reference point is slightly different though.

The Audi Sport Quattro S1 was a rally car that first competed for the WRC championship in 1983, but it went on to transform the motorsport landscape with its groundbreaking features. At the heart of its prowess was the revolutionary all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, a technological leap that redefined traction and stability. Compact and agile, the rally car’s shortened wheelbase set a new standard for manoeuvrability. Underneath its sleek exterior, the Sport Quattro S1 housed a turbocharged inline-five engine, a powerhouse that pushed the boundaries of rally car performance. This amalgamation of cutting-edge technology and design ingenuity made the Audi unbeatable versus a traditional competition car, and for me, despite my first motorsport memories being in the 1990s, I get goose bumps watching it.

The impact of the Sport Quattro S1 on rallying was profound. Its dominance spurred an intense technological race in the Group B category, prompting manufacturers to push the limits of power and agility. The heightened competition elevated rallying to a global spectacle, captivating audiences with the daring feats of drivers behind the wheel of these high-performance machines. The legacy of the Audi Sport Quattro S1 endured, with its influence still in the DNA of modern rally cars. The Sport Quattro S1 remains a symbol of an era where innovation knew no bounds, leaving an enduring mark on the trajectory of the sport for years to come.

The Fifty One Degrees philosophy: the constant search for perfection, taken step-by-step

Here at Fifty One Degrees, we treasure the philosophy of relentlessly searching for improvement, however big or small. While building a consumer financial services brand between 2012 and 2023 one of our innovations permanently changed the UK personal loan industry. By pioneering an entirely personalised customer experience, which gave the customer a personalised price, an exact eligibility and a highly automated process, we we increased customer conversion from 5% to 90%. In turn, this innovation drove millions of customers to our business and enabled the business to scale to become a mainstream financial services brand.

While bold innovation like the introduction of all-wheel-drive in motorsport or evolving the entire UK personal loans industry are the milestones we often refer to, we also treasure the countless incremental changes too. In fact, driven by our passion for agile product development, often incremental improvements can have as important an impact as the game-changes, due to the compounding nature of the marginal gains.

Incremental product development comes with many other benefits too. By making many small changes, a business can harvest customer feedback after each iteration informing the direction of the next step, often improving the quality of the final product. Agile development also reduces risk, as the first increment is often put into production and tested quickly and utilising limited resources, therefore dramatically reducing the risk of wasted resources when a product or feature doesn’t take off.

We would love to discuss searching for your perfection, whether via a game-changing moment or incrementally, so please do contact us.

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