I happened to be listening to WJAB (the sports radio station up here in Maine) yesterday on the way home from a visit with a few vendors in Boston and caught some comments from Bill Duffy, the agent for Steve Nash – formerly of the Dallas Mavericks. The interesting thing about the interview wasn’t the basketball piece, which I could mostly care less about seeing as I only have room for one sport in my heart, and it’s not the NBA.
Instead, it was the subtext to his topic of conversation – Mark Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks owner. We were getting Bill Duffy’s side of the “Steve Nash leaves Dallas for Phoenix” story. The day before, you see, I’d read Mark Cuban’s own thoughts on the situation here. And I found that by reading Doc Searls’ (of Cluetrain fame) piece on it here, which in turn I was linked to from Scobles’ blog here.
Now I could write forever on how blogs are breaking down the barriers to communication, opening up entirely new conversations between previously disconnected classes and people, etc, etc, but frankly, that’s been done. A lot. This isn’t even the first time I’ve seen the impact of this type of interaction – John Henry, billionaire owner of my beloved Red Sox, actually semi-chastised me in another forum at one point for arguing somewhat vituperatively against the Alex Rodriguez trade (yes, I’m thrilled we didn’t get him). So while that topic’s interesting, the takeaway for me was instead the degree to which seemingly disparate businesses like technology and the NBA can learn from each other.
In this case, Cuban is exhibiting typical Cluetrain behavior – open, frank and honest communication about a process that has typically been kept secret, and actions which are usually known to a select few.
But these are hardly the only lessons to be passed back and forth. Like Tim Bray, I recently became one of the last serious baseball fans on the planet to read Michael Lewis’ Moneyball. My reaction to the book? There’s a lot that every technology company can learn from the lessons it details; lessons gleaned from the likes of Bill James, Sandy Alderson, Billy Beane, and Paul DePodesta.
It may be a strange experience, the collision of these worlds, but there’s a reason that CSFB had Paul DePodesta in to speak – intelligent, creative thinking knows no boundaries.