Data Center Innovators the guys who are willing to break the rules

I just had a great day at DataCenter Dynamics Seattle, and some of the best conversations were with the guys (sorry no offense to women, but there aren’t a whole of women in the data center design, construction, and operations) who break the rules.  Guys who don’t live in the safe zone of a risk adverse culture.

Why is this important?  Well if you have plenty of money for CapEx and OpEx for your data center it is not a problem.  But, in these times this is a dying mindset.  The survivors are those who are willing to break the rules of convention.  The so called expertise in the industry coming the long established practices has less value.

For an example, of one guy who is winning and breaking the rules check out this WSJ blog post on Ross Brawn.

Ross Brawn: The Most Dangerous Man in Formula One?

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Ross Brawn

When Nico Rosberg won the Chinese Grand Prix for Mercedes last month, it marked a historic milestone in Formula One racing. The victory was the first by the Mercedes team in F1 since 1955, and it was Rosberg’s first on the world’s foremost auto-racing circuit after 111 races.

The WSJ post calls Ross a genius.

But it also provided confirmation of something that is become increasingly clear in recent years: In the world of F1 racing, and perhaps even the sports world period, Ross Brawn, the Mercedes team principal, may be the closest thing there is to a certifiable genius.

What does Ross do?  He knows where he can innovate.

Brawn thus has what may be an unparalleled knowledge of the arcane regulations and specifications that make up F1′s rule book. By navigating its gray areas, he has produced some of the most creative—and contentious—innovations in F1 history.

Ross’s magic is done within budget constraints.

In today’s F1, Brawn’s knack for operating at the limit of the rules is more valuable than ever. In an era when cost-cutting measures have restricted how much testing teams can do and how many technical staffers they can employ, one innovation can provide an insurmountable edge.

It is easy to break the rules when you have lots of money, but those days are gone.  The really smart data center guys are being like a Ross Brawn.