skip to Main Content

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (Book Review of the Week-ish)

Business owners, managers and writers often invoke sports metaphors to illustrate business situations. Just as often, those metaphors fall flat, either because the audience has little connection to the sport or the metaphor has little connection to reality. So a business book that builds its case around the actions of a low-budget sports franchise risks alienating sports fans and business managers alike. Yet, traveling these well-worn basepaths, Michael Lewis has written one of the classic business books of its era in “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game”.

The book, ostensibly about the Oakland A’s and their demanding general manager Billy Beane, provides a catalog of techniques – and more important – attitudes necessary to compete with the big boys. Its fundamental question, “how does a low-budget operation manage to win consistently against the best-funded teams in sports,” illustrates how a small business owner or manager can develop a winning game plan by focusing on the right information and exploiting market inefficiencies the big guys overlook. Plus it reads as an engaging David vs. Goliath story, introducing colorful characters and situations familiar to sports fans and business veterans alike.

Among the business wisdom sprinkled throughout its pages, “Moneyball” states “the goal of the Oakland front office was simply to minimize the risk. Their solution wasn’t perfect, it was just better than the hoary alternative, rendering decisions by gut feeling.” It also quotes the wonderfully-named amateur (later pro) statistician Voros McCracken, “It didn’t make any sense to me that the way to approach the problem was to give up.” You don’t have to be a fan of baseball – or any sport – to see how that applies to every business.

Oakland general manager Beane, according to Lewis, is fond of Warren Buffett’s statement, “The hardest thing to find is a good investment.” Buy this book. That’s at least one good investment you can take to bank.

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.

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back To Top