There are few movies that I keep watching again and again. Moneyball is one of them.
The movie is the story of Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt, who faces a daunting task. Beane must reengineer his Oakland Athletics baseball team and assemble a competitive one to win among the bigger leagues. Else the game is over for Billy Beane. And there is very little money.
A very familiar situation for start ups.
He is surrounded by traditional scouts, who have age old wisdom to select players. Billy decides to build a team of undervalued player by taking a sophisticated programmatic approach to analyze players. Data driven decision. Oakland team scouts are first dismissive of this approach, because this is against scouts experience and intuition. Beane uses on-base percentage (OBP) to choose the players. Oakland’s reach stages beyond expectation and lose in the post season.
Billy could have become the highest paid general manager of Red Sox that season.
Moneyball is a classic story of growth hack. You need one thing to bring about the disruption; give up the old and believe in the new. Change the game.
Here is a classic quote…
“Any other team wins the World Series, good for them. They’re drinking champagne, they get a ring. But if we win, on our budget, with this team… we’ll have changed the game. And that’s what I want. I want it to mean something.”
The constraints drive you up the wall, but make you discover the best. But all of it starts from one strong BELIEF.
Whether Billy Beane wins or gets defeated in the end is not the moral of the Moneyball. What is more important is what is lived for and what he believed in.
How many of us would have to conviction to carry along this far?