There are few movies that have shaped my view on teams as much as Moneyball. It tells the story of how Billy Beane coached the 2002 Oakland Athletics team to victory in the American League West, after seeing 3 of their main players leave the team after the 2001 season. This movie is simply fantastic. And I don’t even like baseball.
Stats, stats, stats
The biggest difference that Billy Beane made, was that he didn’t select the top players per se. Instead, he focused on players’ stats, to see who did what best. Picking players that would never have made it on other teams, just because they weren’t considered by most scouts, Billy Beane assembled his team.
Today it may seem super obvious that you should select the player with the best stat for a certain position in baseball, but for a lot of sports this isn’t the case yet. Strange, because it’s all about those few percent more you can get out of a team.
Startups and stats
Apart from the blatantly obvious stats your company should focus on such as the burn-rate, cash-flow and costs, there are many, many stats to consider. But the point isn’t these overall stats. What you should be looking for, is which stats are important for which position on your team. Then select ‘players’ who excel at that specific thing, based on their stats.
Stories are not stats
When you are selecting a ‘player’ for a certain position on your team you want to make sure to separate stories from stats. Especially when it comes to sales people and engineers. Sales people usually have the best stories. Engineers usually have no stories. Don’t be fooled, dig deep to find the actual stats they have that you are interested in. Think conversion percentage on consultative selling for example for a sales person. Make sure you get the facts, and forget the stories.