Monday, October 18, 2010

A Best of Barry: Moneyball and Business

In the fascinating baseball book, Moneyball, the author tells the story of how Major League Baseball has unwillingly undergone a transformation due to progressive organizations such as the Oakland A's.

Long story short, thanks to Bill James, a master statistician, century-old assumptions as to what makes a good ballplayer have been upended. James detailed the one or two stats that ball players should be judged and rewarded on--and they weren't the popular ones such as batting average or home runs (You'll have to read the book to find out, after all this is a business blog, not a baseball blog.).

So what, right? The interesting part is that the paternal, tradition-steeped Major League Baseball hierarchy ignored his findings for decades. That means teams like the Yankees overpaid for underachievers while smaller, less-funded organizations such as the A's took advantage and fielded equal teams for a fraction of the payroll. Now, slowly the other teams are coming around, but it's been a fight.

How many other industries are challenged in the same way as MLB? Industries such as aviation, automotive, and medical are undergoing transformation. It will be interesting to see if the Oakland A's of those industries break through and prosper. Or will the Yankees of their industries catch on quickly?

Barry LaBov
LaBov and Beyond
Originally posted 9/30/09

No comments:

Post a Comment