Who isn’t talking about the Golden State Warriors? Stephen Curry, Steve Kerr and their recent shattering of the 1995-1996 Bulls record of being the greatest NBA team are topics of conversation around water coolers everywhere. But there is a Warriors story that is lesser known; the tale of the venture capitalists who own the Warriors. Curry is known as the three point champ, and this is no accident. When Joe Lacob and the other partners at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers purchased the Golden State Warriors they sought to steer the franchise using tactics they knew well – market analysis and numbers. This approach to the game created a data driven analytical culture that affected every level of the franchise; marketing, human resources, finance and even players and coaches caught the fever. After some due diligence they saw the NBA’s three point line as a “market inefficiency hiding in plain sight”. And they capitalized on it. This season the Warriors have sunk 1,025 three pointers.
The game of basketball has been disrupted. The traditional orthodoxy of the NBA has been shattered by a group of people willing to do something different and it shows us that no industry is immune. Every industry is ripe for disruption and ready for new ideas.