Saturday, January 6, 2007

Billy Beane Software Expert?

From Napa Valley Register: Beane joins board of Silicon Valley company

I am a Billy Beane fan. As a general manager he has had tremendous success while overcoming major limitations - low budget, bad stadium, small market, etc. He has revolutionized the game by putting Bill James' ideas into use. To put it in perspective, I was re-reading some of Bill Simmons' old articles and in the 2000 column he has to explain what OPS is. Six years ago, only baseball experts who knew what it was and Billy Beane was the only one to use it extensively as a decisionmaking tool. The man is clearly an outside-the-box thinker and probably a very smart person.

That being said, I don't understand why a software company would hire him to sit on its Board. What's he going to do - run a statistical analysis on the employees? Baseball is not software just like software is not plumbing and plumbing is not politics. Most people wouldn't hire David Letterman to advise on the Middle East nor would they hire Bill Gates to advise the As on their player acquisitions. Outside the famous name factor, what value does he bring to the company? As a smart person he can probably make some contribution but so would a smart software expert who would have the added bonus of industry experience.

No comments: