It's F1 week in Miami, and as always during this period, there are numerous events related to the race. I was recently invited by ExperienceClubUS to attend one of these events, the IWC Miami 2023, and was pleasantly surprised by the activity: a basketball competition with Sir Lewis Hamilton. This made me reflect on how F1 racers and founders are similar.
First, racers and founders share the same root - passion. When I read through Lewis Hamilton's biography, My Story, I could relate his countless play cart laps to the long list of tireless sketches and ideas for a business. Both pursuits begin with an internal desire, a vocation that drains all your energy towards a single idea.
Second, both racers and founders rely on the same initial group for support - friends and family. These are the key people in your life for two key reasons: they share the same passion as you and believe in your vision from the start. This unconditional faith is a driving force to pursue your dreams.
As things start working out, it's time to find funding. For racers, finding sponsorships is crucial to maintain their competitive level, while for founders, it's time to engage with angel investors and venture capitalists for seed funding.
Both racers and founders understand that they cannot win alone. It's time to recruit a team. For a racer, a group of engineers, physical trainers, and mechanics are fundamental. For founders, finding your first business partners, engineers, and marketing team is crucial to take your idea from the ground.
Both racers and founders require a reliable and high-performing system to thrive. For a racer, a great car with a powerful engine, aerodynamic design, and mechanical perfection is crucial to winning races. For a founder, a dependable system with high performance, security, and scalability to adapt to customer needs is crucial to acquire new customers.
However, the most interesting coincidence is that both racers and founders must navigate in many different capacities outside their core activities. Just as I was astonished to see Sir Lewis Hamilton playing basketball (and he is pretty good at it) and posing as a model, founders must perform different activities, including finance, customer service, marketing, and legal tasks.
In summary, pursuing a dream is hard but enjoyable. Watching Hamilton have fun on the court reminds us how important it is to enjoy the journey. Make friends, do your best, work with passion, and always recognize and thank those who helped you along the way - your teammates, friends, and family.
Thank you, Sir Lewis Hamilton, for being an inspiration. See you on the next F1 race or basketball court.
Douglas Lopes, Co-Founder & COO Onyx Private