Clouds & Dirt: Finding the right mix

Conceptualizing solutions is fun. Turning those concepts into product is difficult.

It’s obvious that we need to use athlete data better and that the “data revolution” has not meaningfully improved sporting outcomes. It’s time someone solved for that. George Mack (@George_Mack) talks about the intersection of “clouds” (mental models & marketing) with “dirt” (tools & tactics). He also highlights the dual powers of the Lindy business & math + the cutting edge trends and platforms. That’s where we sit.

AI is commoditized. Lead with People and Processes, Technology will follow.

I used to perceive an arms race of who had the nerdiest nerd, the biggest data whiz. While the cutting-edge is being pushed all the time (see our paper TinyUrl.com/GeminiJSA), offerings such as H20.ai are making high-level data science accessible. Buying up stats firms to compliment dashboard solutions is a band-aid offering. It’s time to rethink, from a blank sheet of paper, how we aggregate and leverage athlete data.

Can AI/ML/DL lead us to the promised land?

We cannot and should not hand the keys to our AI overlords and let them figure out each and every secret to athlete acquisition, development, health and performance. Man AND Machine, not Man vs Machine…this is the way. All the algorithms in the world need operators behind them who can pass The Locker Room test. That’s why I’m building a team that does.

Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.

Seth Godin said that. There are some amazing offerings out there at the moment, no doubt about it. If you don’t get excited about competition (which proves the market after all), then you shouldn’t be in business. Shane Battier told me that “we are really only in the second inning of this thing” and I see an opportunity to reimagine what’s out there and come up with more specific solutions. Algorithms and APIs are the easy part. World-class processes and people who can mix dirt & clouds are where we win.

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