Free (Technology) Agents
By stern on May 05, 2009
Why would this work for technology companies and not sports franchises? Quite simply, the acquisition of a free agent is unlikely to change the basic strategy of a team or the rules of a game. Strategic changes in a game almost always result from a lack of talent, not the sudden availability of creative people.
Int this current NHL season, the NJ Devils changed from a defensive-minded style to a goal-scoring, offensive strategy when goaltender Martin Brodeur suffered an injury requiring four months of recovery. Late San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh perfected the West Coast Offense (read Michael Lewis' The Blind Side for a compelling story wrapped in a West Coast Offense) and forced strategic defensive changes in the game. And the grandfather of several current NBA offensive schemes is Pete Carrill's Princeton Offense. What do all three have in common? They were designed to deal with a deficit of talent or skill: goaltending and first-rate defense (Devils), rushing (West Coast Offense), and height (Princeton Offense).
The barriers to entry for new ideas have never been lower: you can develop your idea using a wealth of open source software, deploy it to test in a cloud infrastructure and leverage social networking mechanisms to spread awareness. It's a ripe environment for engineers to give us something (locally) to celebrate.