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Tim Peter

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January 16, 2014

3 Key Things to Remember About Remote Work

January 16, 2014 | By | No Comments

Building the right teamSo, I realize the whole “work from home vs. work in the office” debate is kind of done, right? Marissa Mayer sent out her memo—a year ago, I might add—the Internet exploded, and promptly forgot about it.

So, why am I bringing this up? Again? A year later?

Funny you should ask.

I was visiting with a client earlier this week and something interesting happened (all parties were completely fine with me sharing this story; as you might expect, names, and a boatload of details, have been changed).

A key individual, we’ll call him “Peter Gibbons” was working remotely to meet some fairly crushing deadlines. He, with the acknowledgement and endorsement of his team, turned off his phone and IM. It’s all good, as the kids say.

He churned out his work, reconnected his devices/utilities, and learned that the world had caught fire while he was offline. Um… kind of not cool.

Anyway, once they team got together, they fixed the issues, and life went on. Not great, mind you. But, y’know, fine.

Now, the guy was completely in the right on this one. He’d done everything right. Everyone thought it was cool. They made the best of the situation and discussed how to ensure this wouldn’t happen in the future (i.e., make sure Peter had some appropriate backup).

Except for one thing.

An individual on another team, who we’ll call “Michael Bolton,” completely lost his mind. “My work is just as important as that guy’s,” he bellowed. Well, insisted. But it came off kind of bellow-y. “How come I don’t get to do what he did? And what’s worse, the whole world caught fire! If that happened to me, I’d get reamed up and down. I’ve got to churn out (pick whichever one works for you):

  • the big client presentation; or,
  • that major press release; or,
  • 5,000 lines of code; or,
  • our entire business strategy for next year.”

He continued, “I’ve got important work to do. And I’m way more productive outside the office. I’m not constantly interrupted by other people and I can focus on getting my job done. It’s ridiculous that I’m held accountable for meeting specific productivity goals and not given the opportunity to meet them.”

And on and on and on. You know the type I’m talking about.

Now, to be fair, his last point has some merit and I’ll come back to that.

But, while I think remote work is right for many people in many situations, there are three, highly related reasons why not everyone should work remotely. At least not every single time they want to. Happily, this individual’s mentor laid them out plainly:

  1. You are not a number. Your value to your organization is more than a single measure, no matter how important the presentation, press release, code, or strategy you’re developing. Now, if you’re legitimately being interrupted by people talking about trivial, non-important stuff, you’ve got a legitimate reason to say, “Hey, sorry, but I can’t talk right now. I’ve really got to get these TPS reports to Lumbergh by the end of the day or they’ll take my Swingline stapler.” But, if they’re trying to solve real, honest-to-goodness work related things, take a minute to assess whether their things might be worth contributing to, too. Which leads to…
  2. You weren’t hired to do one thing. Your value is not that one thing you do. Doesn’t matter how good you are it, either. Part of your value to the organization is “dealing with interruptions” and being available to the rest of your team to answer questions, engage, brainstorm, and, participate in the overall process. Sometimes, maybe even go to a meeting (as long as it’s a useful meeting; I’ll have more to say about this another time). Part of your role in just about any organization is to help move the entire organization forward, not just your piece of it. Which leads to…
  3. Don’t confuse your productivity with your team’s productivity. Finally, this is the kicker. Your client presentation, press release, code, strategy, or what-have-you is undoubtedly important (if it really isn’t, but they’re having you do it anyway, you really want to schedule some time with Lumbergh to sort that out). It may in fact be critical to the organization. But it’s also possible that your focus on that thing creates a roadblock to others’ productivity and, worse, to that of the overall organization. When Peter Gibbons was out of the office and “the whole world caught fire,” it definitely delayed the team’s response. If two or three or four or more people are standing around waiting for you while you work on your project, that’s a pretty big hit to the organization as a whole.

Now, as for Michael Bolton’s complaint about being held accountable for meeting specific productivity goals and not having a realistic opportunity to meet those goals? Yeah, that’s bad. It’s not only demotivating; it can be downright soul-crushing.

What a good manager is supposed to do in those cases is work with Michael Bolton to determine the organization’s actual priorities and create an environment where Michael can both get his work done and get recognition for contributions to the team’s success too. Which, I’m thrilled to say, Michael’s manager accomplished handily.

So, does this mean I’m against remote work?

Absolutely not. Not even for Michael Bolton, sometimes.

With the right people, processes, and platforms in place, many organizations can benefit from getting their folks out of the office from time-to-time (I’d recommend revisiting these tips on how to do just that).

I’ve said many times, people don’t go online; they are online. The web, mobile, social. and otherwise, creates lots of opportunities for people to work at a remove and remain completely connected. What matters is how you make it work in your organization.

If you’re interested in learning more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web, register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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December 12, 2013

Happy…

December 12, 2013 | By | No Comments

Closing out the yearI’m a little contemplative today. I tend to get this way roughly this time each year.

  1. Because of the holidays and the end of the year, and
  2. Because it’s my birthday.

Yes, I’m one of those. Don’t worry. It’s not a mid-life crisis, just a little year-end contemplation. I think it’s valuable to look back every now and again. And this year, I find myself thinking a lot about my Birthday Reflections post from two years ago:

“…through everything, I’ve had more happy days than sad the last year. Which I hope is true for most people.

I suspect it’s not.

I look around and see people challenged in many different aspects of their lives. Some are unhappy in work. Others are unhappy in love. And still others are unhappy in life, generally.

Now, to be fair, many people face challenges that I can scarcely imagine. We’re sitting in the middle of the worst economy any of us will ever see (we hope). Lots of people are struggling to pay their bill or are worrying about what happens if they get sick. Some aren’t sure how they’re going to pay for their kids’ college or their retirement. Others face very real medical situations for themselves or their family. These are huge problems and ones that I don’t see any easy answers to.

At the same time, I’m excited whenever I talk with a business owner or an entrepreneur or a kid fresh out of school who looks at the world and sees opportunity. Many speak of their plans with such enthusiasm and passion and drive, that they breathe life into everyone who hears what they’ve got to say. You can’t help but get caught up in their excitement for what they’re going to do.

Sure, some won’t succeed, at least not at first. More than a few will likely adjust their plans or their goals along the way once they learn a bit more about their customers, their market, or their assumptions that weren’t quite right. But many will succeed in the long run. And not because they had a better idea or a better business plan or a better operating environment.

No.

What will help them reach their dreams is that enthusiasm, that passion, that drive. We all get knocked down from time to time. The most successful people I know often have suffered serious setbacks or losses somewhere along the way. That’s not cliché. That’s reality. It’s the enthusiasm, the passion and the drive that helps them deal with those setbacks, that helps them overcome the challenges, that helps them get back on the horse when they fall off.”

I’ve long believed it’s important to do what you love. In fact, I’m increasingly convinced that’s true. That doesn’t mean you’ll love it every second. Nor does it mean it’s a guarantee of immediate success.

What it is, though, is the thing that will get you up off the ground when you’re knocked down — and if you’re like most of us, that will happen somewhere along the way. Bill Gates’ first company was called Traf-O-Data. While it wasn’t an outright failure, it didn’t exactly net him his billions. Warren Buffett couldn’t get a job with his hero, Ben Graham, when he first graduated college. Again, that seems to have worked out OK.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a look backwards every now and again — whether on your birthday, the day after a major project tanks, or whatever one appeals to you. But the folks who do what they love quickly absorb whatever lessons they can from the process, then “get back on the horse,” and start moving forward again. Gates’ love of computers and software led him to Microsoft; Buffett’s love of business and finance kept him in the game.

So, as the year starts to close, take a moment to reflect. Ask yourself, “Do I love what I’m doing? Will it sustain me through the tough times?” And if you find the answer is “No,” think about what it would take to get you there.

And, for those of you who answered “Yes,” you’ve got the best present you can have. For you, I’ll close with my thoughts from a couple years ago,

“…my birthday wish is that you find whatever it is that engages your energy and prods your passion (even though that [phrase] sounds a little dirty when I say it out loud). Each year goes a little faster than the one before it, so don’t waste your time worrying too much about what could go wrong. Some bad stuff will happen no matter what you do. That’s life. Just make the most of your time and do what it takes to make yourself—and the people you love—happy.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web, register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also enjoy some of my past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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June 19, 2013

Forget Your Industry. How Safe is Your Job from Amazon?

June 19, 2013 | By | No Comments

Measures that matterThe other day, I talked about industries getting “Amazon’d,” where technological shifts (largely brought to bear by the AGFAM-ily), disrupt traditional industry players. More importantly, I talked about how your business can adapt in such an environment.

However, a number of you wrote to me saying, “Screw my industry. What about my career?!?” Or something very much to that effect.

Now, I don’t want to offer false platitudes. (Y’know, as opposed to all those true platitudes going around these days.) It’s fairly certain at least some people will be displaced by these changes.

Unfortunately, that’s not new.

Equally unfortunately, many countries don’t have a great process for helping people transition to new opportunities (or, in the worst cases, few new opportunities exist).

As for whether these disruptive shifts signal “the end of work,” as Jeremy Rifkin called it in his 1995 book of the same name, I honestly have no idea.

In my defense, no one does. While Rifkin’s work may have been prescient, remember that the book was written 13 years prior to the current unemployment crisis. It’s possible his thesis foretold the future. It’s also possible it represents the proverbial broken clock, with the last few years representing one of the two times he’ll actually be right.

Even more telling, Rifkin’s not the first to make this claim. Theorists dating back to John Maynard Keynes in the 1930′s predicted an end to work brought about by a machine age (though, in Keynes’ view, massive technological shifts resulted in the “good problem” of what to do with an abundance of leisure time). And the original Luddites of the early 1800′s smashed machines out of fear of losing their jobs permanently.

So, the “end of work” crowd doesn’t exactly have a stellar track record here.

Of course, the fact that none of these folks have been right in the past doesn’t mean that they are automatically wrong now.

Me? I tend to follow a “plan for the worst, hope for the best,” strategy. Or, as put far better by computer scientist Alan Kay, “The only way to predict the future is to build it.”

Labor, yours and others, is a product. As a marketer, I’m all about products. Whether machines can do “all” the work, plenty of opportunities will exist to fill customer (or, if you must, employer) needs going forward.

The means of production and distribution are now, effectively, free. So use them to your advantage.

Sites like Etsy and Freelancer.com and 99designs and DeviantArt and Disc Makers and Threadless and, yes, Amazon, Google, YouTube, and on and on and on offer opportunities to put your work, your creativity, and your passion in front of potential customers.

Sources like Khan Academy and Coursera and MIT Open Courseware and iTunes U and YouTube and loads of others enable you to learn new skills (like, say, programming, network engineering, or training), on which those machines, their operators, and the capital behind them rely.

New customer segments like older, increasingly active adults, Millenials requiring mentoring, Boomers requiring reverse mentoring, and on and on and on will require myriad new products and services and features and benefits that you can provide if you follow my long-standing advice and focus on your customer (even if, in this case, the customer is somebody different than you’re accustomed to serving).

I’ve said many times that marketing is so much more than advertising. It’s creating products, and finding the right place, price, and promotional vehicles necessary to put those products in front of the right customer. At its core, it’s about helping people solve their problems.

And as long as there are people, there’s an opportunity for you to help them. For fun. And for profit. And if that’s not a job worth doing, I don’t know what is.

Interested in learning more about the future of marketing? Register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

And you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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December 3, 2012

What creates success?

December 3, 2012 | By | No Comments

What drive success?The Atlantic has a great interview with author and, more relevant to the story, bookstore owner Ann Patchett discussing why her new venture succeeded. And there are lots of reasons: good market, strong demand, excellent timing, amazing PR. But I can’t help thinking the main reason comes down to this quote:

“Amazon doesn’t get to make all the decisions; the people can make them, by choosing how and where they spend their money. If what a bookstore offers matters to you, then shop at a bookstore. If you feel that the experience of reading a book is valuable, then read a book. This is how we change the world: We grab hold of it. We change ourselves.” [Emphasis mine]

Just because you want something, won’t make it so. You have to work for it.

But, if you really want something and are willing to work for it and are willing to change yourself and what you do? Then very little can stop you.


If you can help those dealing with the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy, please visit the American Red Cross.

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October 2, 2012

What Happens When "Free Shipping" Is Irrelevant?

October 2, 2012 | By | One Comment

Focus on the futureConsider the following:

We’re near to the age when almost any product can be digitized and downloaded. Have you ever seen the “food replicators” on Star Trek: The Next Generation? ‘Cause they might be in your house before you know it. Even doctors face disintermediation, replaced by their patients’ iPhones and Androids.

Whether you think this is terrifying or the next great opportunity depends entirely on your outlook. But if you want to pretend these changes aren’t coming, the next thing you print on your 3D printer might be this product:


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And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

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July 30, 2012

What are "the rules"?

July 30, 2012 | By | No Comments

Do you know who Alex Day is? I suspect not. Don’t worry, I didn’t either, until my teenage daughter showed me one of his videos.

Yes, it is what we used to call “bubblegum pop,” back when I worked in the music industry. Probably has the shelf-life of a five-year old’s ice cream on a summer afternoon.

But, what’s crazy is this. He’s racked up some 89 million views on YouTube and, as TechDirt notes,

“…his first two royalty checks totaled over $200,000.”

Um… wow.

This, mind you, in an age when the recording industry reports it’s lost about 8% of retail value over the last year on physical shipments and has only broken even thanks to digital [PDF link]. Yet, here’s this kid, all of 23 years old, who’s going it alone, breaking all the rules and… succeeding. Wildly.

Why?

Because he believes there are no rules. As he said in a recent Forbes profile,

“I proved you can get songs out there without any corporate involvement.”

So, here’s the question for today: What rules do you follow? The ones “everyone knows”? Or the ones you make for yourself? Do you do what everyone else is doing? Or do you truly do what you love?


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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February 29, 2012

Today shouldn't exist

February 29, 2012 | By | No Comments

Rare eventsFebruary 29th. Leap day. A once-every-four-years event where we whack the calendar with a small hammer to get it running right again (much the way I used to keep my old ’78 Nova running). If the calendar actually worked right, there wouldn’t be a need for a “leap day.” We’d either have February 29th every year or we never would (though I suppose there’s a chance we could end up with March Eleventieth, or something).

Loads of people make a big deal about Leap Day. Y’know, stuff like, “Do something awesome! Take advantage of a rare event! Make this extra day count!”

But here’s the funny thing about it: Every day is a rare event. February 29th only happens once every four years, but tomorrow’s date only happens once. Ever. Same thing with the day after that. And the day after that one. And the day after that one (you get the idea). Eventually, you’ll run out of all your days, whether it’s the 29th of February or 6th of April or, even, the Eleventieth of March.

It’s inevitable.

So, yes. I agree. Do something awesome today. Make this extra day count.

But do it tomorrow, too.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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January 9, 2012

The Value of Speed

January 9, 2012 | By | No Comments

The value of speedGoogle introduced its latest “Think Quarterly” online magazine today, this time focused on speed. But why does speed matter in marketing?

Adaptability

The most basic reason speed matters? Adaptability. Change happens every day. And those changes occur increasingly rapidly. With the volume of change, it’s almost impossible to predict where the world will be 5 days from now, let alone five years. But what you can do is adapt quickly to the world around you.

“Fast mover” vs. “First mover”

Most people forget that Apple didn’t create the first MP3 player. Or the first mobile phone. Or the first tablet computer. And Amazon wasn’t the first online retailer. Or the first provider of cloud computing services. Or offer the first e-book reader. And yet each has staked dominant positions in their respective markets.

Why?

Because they learned from the people who came before them, introduced clear improvements on the existing products, then continually innovated to maintain their market leadership. Their efforts haven’t always succeeded (see Apple’s Newton or Amazon’s auctions platform—on second thought, don’t). But they’ve learned from their mistakes and moved forward. Quickly.

SEO and customer benefits of speed

Of course, so far we’ve only looked at the pace of product and service innovation. But at least two other places exist where speed matters, especially in terms of SEO and customer experience:

  1. Your web platform
  2. Your content process

Platform

Google values fast websites. Increasingly, Google’s algorithm factors speed into the equation when determining who gets that vaunted top search result.

But more than that, your customers care, too. Imagine you’re looking for a phone number or address when searching from your mobile phone (actually, this is one of the key reasons Google cares about speed so much). 4G may provide reasonably fast service, but bloated, clunky websites that take a while to appear on a desktop computer become downright glacial on mobile devices.

Customers and search engines simply aren’t going to wait for your page to load. They’re going to click to the site that answers their question quickly and readily.

Content

Customers have too much on their plate to wait for answers to their questions. We’ve frequently seen companies waiting to address customer complaints—and by doing so, failing to do so effectively.

By contrast, companies that act quickly in response to customer concerns often gain from those actions. Waiting to say what’s on your mind (or address what’s on your customer’s mind), risks missing the moment.

Plus, of course, our old friend Google also values frequently updated content. So a content process that isn’t built to support regular and rapid updates isn’t much of a content process.

Speed matters

My very good friend Mike Moran is fond of saying “do it wrong quickly.” In fact, he’s been saying it for over 5 years (the man is both fast and ahead of his time). Don’t wait until 2013 to catch up. Make “value speed” one of your New Year’s Resolutions right now and get ready to leave your competitors behind.


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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October 10, 2011

Is it crazy to do what you love?

October 10, 2011 | By | 3 Comments

In my commentary on Steve Jobs’ passing, I both quoted and reiterated the idea that you must do what you love. Yesterday, I got an email from a reader asking,

“What do you mean by ‘do what you love?’ The economy’s in a shambles, unemployment is ridiculously high… I don’t care whether I do what I love, unless you include putting food on my family’s table in that category.”

Additionally, I spoke with a local business owner the other day—one with 16 years in business here in town, in an industry he’s passionate about—who told me he’s having his worst year ever. He’s downsizing his operation and looking for less-expensive real estate.

Some argue that those who say “do what you love” are bragging or offering bad advice.

So, is it crazy to think you can both do what you love and earn a living?

In a word: No.

At least, not if you don’t abandon reality along with it. There’s no harm in asking how you can make money doing what you love. In fact, most successful people do just that.

Wired Magazine’s obituary of Steve Jobs notes:

“[Job's 'fall back plan'] changed when Steve Jobs saw what a high-school friend, Steve Wozniak, was doing. Wozniak was a member of the Homebrew Computer Club, a collection of Valley engineers and hangers-on who were thrilled at the prospect of personal computers, which had just become possible with the advent of low-cost chips and electronics. “Woz” was among several of the group who designing their own, but he had no desire to commercialize his project, even though it was groundbreaking in simplicity and also was one of the first to include color graphics.

When Jobs saw his friend’s project, he wanted to make a business. While other home-brewers were also starting companies, Jobs was unique in understanding that personal computers could appeal to an audience far beyond geeks.” [Emphasis mine]

Jobs loved computers. And he loved the idea of building a business around them. Tony Hawk loves skateboarding. And he figured out how to get paid for doing it. Nathan Sawaya has built a business out by building things out of Lego.

None of these people got where they were by ignoring their passion or by ignoring their need to make a living. Instead, they looked for the intersection of the two.

The economy sucks. No one’s arguing that. And you’ve got to work to figure out exactly how to make a living doing what you love. No one’s promising overnight success. But, you can do what you love and feed your family at the same time. In fact, I’d argue that you’re more likely to succeed at something you actually enjoy than something that’s soul-crushing drudgery.

But, I will close with this thought about whether you can do what you love and still earn a living, from Henry Ford: “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you’re right.”


Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today.

Or subscribe via email.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to follow Tim on Twitter.

Tim Peter & Associates helps companies from startups to the Fortune 500 use the web to reach more customers, more effectively every day. Take a look and see how we can help you.

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October 3, 2011

What You Can Learn About Business From Brad Pitt's "Moneyball" Movie

October 3, 2011 | By | One Comment

Moneyball Movie PosterThe thing you have to know about “Moneyball,” the new Brad Pitt film, is that it’s got nothing to do with baseball. Oh, don’t get me wrong. It’s got a lot more to do with baseball than did Michael Lewis’ fantastic book(see my review here) on which it’s based. But the story of “Moneyball,” both on screen and on the printed page, revolves around a fundamental question: “…how does a low-budget operation manage to win consistently against the best-funded teams in sports.”

The film does an excellent job dramatizing that struggle, watching the beleagured Billy Beane (Pitt), and his trusty assistant “Peter Brand” (a film amalgamation of real-life assistants Paul DePodesta, J.P. Ricciardi and Dan Feinstein, played ably by comic actor Jonah Hill), battle on-field opponents, baseball’s institutional inertia, and their own self-doubt every step of the way. It makes for great entertainment, while providing a storyline just about any entrepreneur, small business owner or “working-class hero” can relate to.

More important than the story, though, are the lessons within “Moneyball” (and here’s where the book is a better resource than the film). In the years since the book’s release, the team at the center of the story has regressed, moving from a perennial post-season contender, to a middle-of-the-pack mob of outcasts, misfits and outright mistakes.

And many within the baseball (think “business”) and media (think “media”) establishment have pounced, claiming that “Moneyball” (the approach, not the book), has failed. “Stats are overrated,” the critics claim, finding evidence in Billy Beane’s recent struggles.

But the lesson of “Moneyball” (the book and the film) is this:

“…[S]tats were beside the point… The point was understanding.”

In both the book and the film, Billy Beane’s Oakland A’s, with limited payroll, used stats that no one else was using define each player’s value and contribution to the team’s success.

For instance, during the 2002 season the film chronicles, the team believed that conventional fielding stats failed to account for a player’s contribution to team wins. As Paul DePodesta recounts to Michael Lewis in the book,

“The variance between the best and worst fielders on the outcome of the game is a lot smaller than the variance between the best hitter and the worst hitters.” The market as a whole failed to grasp this fact, and so placed higher prices than it should on defensive skills. [p. 136—Emphasis mine]

For a team that couldn’t afford high-priced players, this automatically placed great fielders out of its reach. But the team didn’t respond by giving up. Instead, they sought players with skills the market undervalued—and as a consequence fielded a team that, well, couldn’t field.

But they could—and did—win.

The actual stats the team used don’t matter—and, in fact, have become so common within baseball as to require new measures to find undervalued contributors.

It was seeking understanding of what teams valued and didn’t that led Beane’s club to its particular set of stats. In most other industries, we’d call those key performance indicators. Baseball, at the time, called them “heresy.” Then most other teams in baseball adopted those same stats, while bringing larger checkbooks to the table, once they wanted to duplicate the A’s success. The A’s recent struggles don’t reflect a failure of their old mindset, but rather their inability to find the key performance indicators their opponents undervalue now that most teams use the one’s that brought the A’s success in earlier seasons.

Regardless, you don’t have to like baseball movies to enjoy “Moneyball” on the screen. You don’t even have to like sports. But if you’re interested in a classic “David vs. Goliath” tale, you’ll likely enjoy the film and Beane’s journey to success. And, if you’re interested in playing David to someone else’s Goliath, you’ll want to pay attention to the mindset that got him there.

Image credit: nxusco via Flickr


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