Moneyball For Seed Investments

When I heard Billy Beane speak about how baseball teams used to pick their players it was overly wrapped around the concept of looks….

Is he tall, was he the high school captain, homecoming king, is he fast, with a low strike out rate? Did he hit the game winning home run when the scouts visited? And more…

It was vanity stuff.

Then the industry switched to data, and a short, slow, overweight, ugly guy who had a monster on base percentage became a winner.

Seed investors and especially accelerators put too much weight on looks as well.

Did he go to Stanford? Work at Google? Does she have a pretty github account, or can she spit off quotes from the lean startup? Do they live in San Francisco and can they name drop really well? Basically, does this person fit the startup look?

Granted we have less startup data, but it is starting to change. We need to find the startup world’s on base percentage.

I don’t have the answers right now but I think they will emerge. Could there be some sort of personality analysis we can glean from their social media accounts? Could they produce product market fit data? Hell, we may find that being from San Francisco is a difference maker…there’s something in there I just don’t know what it is.

There are people working on this. One is Daniell Morrill. I recommend following her if you’re interested in the topic.

I’m excited to see how data for startups evolves over time and interested in making data driven investment decisions in the future.

Important Leadership Lessons in My Life

My father is an amazing leader who I always have looked up to.

He has a strong faith and introduced me to the writings of Peter Drucker, who is hailed as “the man who invented management”. My father and Drucker were the first steps to my learning the one thing I now know for 100% certain about leadership.

The role of the leader is to serve.

I later read a few more books that really honed this in: The Servant (where I learned the upsidedown org chart), everything by Patrick Lencioni, RSVP Selling (blog post), and the Gospels of the Bible.

Then I met and spent time with true leaders like Rusty Gordon and Charles Brewer. All before working with one of the best in the business, David Cummings.

The people who consistently teach me the most about this are my teammates at SalesLoft and my friends at the Village.

As long as I strive to become a servant leader, it makes everything easier.