Surprisingly entertaining. I expected to read detailed accounts of the numbers the Oakland A's managers used to make decisions about players, but the...moreSurprisingly entertaining. I expected to read detailed accounts of the numbers the Oakland A's managers used to make decisions about players, but the book focused more on the story than the statistical analysis that was used to build the team.
This is not disappointing because the story is so fun. Some common situations are drawn out for the sake of drama, but I found even those overly dramatic situations to be entertaining.
In going back over the book I realize that the insights to business are made by showing how difficult--and valuable--it can be to buck common wisdom. This reminded me of Ryan Matthew's "The Deviant's Advantage."
Rather than instructing the reader with details of the teams analysis of player data, the book gave me a broader sense of decision making tools that are probably available to anyone who takes the time to understand the problems they face, who has the courage to think differently about the solution and the persistence to continue while everyone derides your approach.
The story provides an example of how to improve your business by understanding what matters (getting on base) and knowing how to measure what matters (on-base percentage and slugging percentage).
This focus on "the on thing that matters" reminds me of Charles Duhigg's book "The Power of Habit" in which he relates the story of how Paul O'Neil turned around Alcoa by finding the one metric that underlies all other metrics that lead to success.
Knowing the one thing that matters and how to measure it drove the Oakland A's to the top of their division. Just as knowing that safety would be key to the quality that would eventually revive Alcoa's fortunes.
Moneyball is a surprisingly good book, especially when considered from the 10,000-foot-view.
I also learned more about baseball than I though I would.(less)
There is an overall theme to this book that is important, critical even, to large, established businesses that are struggling to increase their releva...moreThere is an overall theme to this book that is important, critical even, to large, established businesses that are struggling to increase their relevance and improve innovation. While the ideas in the book may be clear to those of us who, as described by John Hagel, live on or near the edge; it is not clear to mainstream businesses. This may sadden some of us given that the Web is now 25 years old, but it remains true. I choose to believe the negative reviews of this book overlook this fact and focus on the obvious nature of the message: a few influential, well-informed people can have a big impact; rather than the significance the message can have as a hiring strategy.
Yes. This could have been a long-ish article in a business magazine and has some amount of filler, but it is useful as a manual of sorts for unfamiliar with how ideas and people move freely across the Web.
I found the theme to be one of the most important that I've read since the Cluetrain Manifesto, which was also largely self-evident to those of use who were already living on the Web in 2000 but nonetheless groundbreaking.
If you've read Geoffery Moore's "Escape Velocity" and wondered how you can move a horizon 2 business to horizon 3; I think Hagel prthose ovides an idea that will help. (less)