“As I get older, my ambitions get bolder”

Jonathan Carrier, RocketSpace


I was only 24 when I joined McLaren Automotive. The company had ambitions to build on its history in Formula One and with the McLaren F1 road car to turn itself into a supercar company to rival Ferrari. At the time, I didn’t see myself as a changemaker, I just saw the scale of the opportunity. Now McLaren sells 3,000 supercars a year.
No matter what I do I never give in. That had a huge effect on me. My parents discovered our family coat of arms many years ago but there was no motto on the crest and “never give in” is the one they chose. Even in difficult circumstances, through tough times, it inspires me to keep giving my best.
Disruption has become “de rigeur” but it’s nothing new – it’s just packaged differently. But there is more pressure on large corporations than ever before. Consumers and markets are changing, accelerated by technology and data. The threat is more real because of the pace of change.
As I get older, my ambitions get bolder. I want to improve people’s lives, and make a difference to society. I’m particularly focused on the mobility and transportation sectors. How we move around is integral to how we live. That’s what I did when I when I created InMotion Ventures [the investment arm of Jaguar Land Rover]: helping create new businesses and future technologies to change the world.

I take pleasure from the pain of  making change happen. I like to work at the intersection between startup and large corporate to help both sides work together. The thrill is in mixing the speed and agility of the small company with the scale and resource of the big one. That’s where the magic happens and has the greatest potential to benefit everyone.
Changemakers wake up frustrated and go to bed disappointed because we’re never satisfied. I never want to accept the status quo, which makes it hard to reach a point where I can stop and feel contented. You want to keep raising the bar and push people to achieve something they feel passionate about. 
The duty of the changemaker is to make people feel “comfortably lost”. You want to challenge their long-held beliefs but also show them many possibilities. You have to tell your story in a way that resonates and pulls levers amongst decision-makers to win both hearts and minds.
Jonathan Carrier was formerly Head of InMotion Ventures at Jaguar Land Rover, and is now Director, European Accelerator Programs at RocketSpace


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