On the Patriot Fans, Deflategate and Cheating

First of all, I have absolutely no doubt that, had steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs existed during Babe Ruth’s career, Babe Ruth would not only have used them, he would have used more of them than Barry Bonds. I don’t understand how anyone can be confused about this. The central theme of Babe Ruth’s life, which is the fulcrum of virtually every anecdote and every event of his career, is that Babe Ruth firmly believed that the rules did not apply to Babe Ruth.
– via Bill James in Slate Magazine

It is no surprise that many (if not most) star athletes will do anything they can to get an edge. Tom Brady is clearly no different. It does not make him a bad person, but I find it absurd that many Patriot’s fans seem to be in complete denial about it.

When the story first broke, the narrative of the Pats fans was basically, “Tom didn’t know.” Well, now it is pretty clear he did. The narrative is now, “There’s no direct evidence,” and “Even if he did it, everyone else does.”

Is the evidence circumstantial? Yes, but people are convicted on circumstancial evidence in this country every day. In fact, Pats fans will use circumstantial evidence in support of their arguement. “Oh, yeah, of course you think Brady did it, you are a fill-in-the-name-of-your-team fan!” Is that circumstantial and perhaps evidence of bias? Yes. Does it mean Brady is innocent? No.

As for the “everyone else is doing it” defense — Well, it didn’t work with my Mom and it sure doesn’t work here. In fact the most damning evidence I have seen is this chart:

This is for five years worth of data. I am sorry, but there is no way that great coaching or even dismissal of all running backs that fumble twice can explain it.

 

My only point is this — Tom Brady and the Patriots purposefully deflated footballs to try to gain a competitive advantage. Period. Full stop.

  • Could other teams also be doing it? Yes.
  • Are other teams doing things to gain an advantage that are outside the rules? Yes.
  • Is it a dumb rule? Maybe.
  • Does the NFL share blame for not having a sensible process to enforce the rule? Yes.
  • Is the penalty excessive? I don’t know. Probably.

All these are obfuscations to the main point and the central question.

I am willing to on record in saying that assuming the NFL creates a process to enforce this rule beginning next season and the Patriots continue to hold onto the football at their already amazing rate, I will be convinced that I am wrong and will repent.

So, Pats fans, what will it be? Are you willing to repent if the Patriots fall back to pack and start fumbling at a rate of say less than 150 plays per fumble over the course of the next three to five seasons?

My latest interview on value project management and pricing

I’m excited to share with you a recent interview I did with the Growing Your Firm Podcast with David Cristello. 

  • This interview is filled with actionable insights on: 
  • The trap of focusing on effort over duration
  • How to implement value pricing and management for your clients
  • And even why I prefer the term “customers” over “clients”

You can listen to the entire interview (for free!) here: http://jetpackworkflow.com/value-billing-ed-kless-verasage/

On public versus private sector receipts

Yesterday, I went to the United States Post Office location here in my hometown of Allen, Texas. I needed to send a package to a friend in Petaluma, California.

Upon arrival, I noticed a self service kiosk, so I decided to give it a try. The first step was to “Touch the screen to begin.” Okay, fair enough. Boop.

Up came a menu of five or six choices of service, “Send a parcel” being the top choice. Howver, underneath the description it said, “I am sorry I am unable to complete this type of transaction now.” Curiously, under all the choices it read the same. Hmmm, to the line I go.

It being after Christmas there was only one person ahead of me, so I waited only about five minutes since there was only one clerk working. I handed over my package and answered the needed questions and paid via my American Express card. 

No sooner had I put the card back in its proper slot in my wallet then did I receive a notice on my iPhone that a purchase of $6.65 had been made on my card. It came up so quickly that the receipt pictured below had not even finished printing. You can see why. It is so long that my scanner would not scan it in one pass, I had to cut the paper in half becasue it was perceived as a paper jam.

Does Algore know about this?

The Funny Thing About North Korea…

…is that there is really nothing funny about North Korea.

Dear ReaderI used to think there was, but earlier this summer I read this book, Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il, and it changed my perspective.

They are not funny, they are brutal and ruthless. If I bought into the “we need to protect them” narrative that is often used to justify foreign intervention (I don’t, but if I did) North Korea would be first on the list.

The people of the PDRK have been systematically repressed for decades. Even if we were to somehow liberate them today if would generations before they could recover. The ruling family is not crazy, there is a logic and rational to everything that is done. It is evil, pure and simple.

Read the book, it is like reading a slow train wreck, too horrifying to continue reading, too fascinating to stop.

On “trickle-down economics”

“Trickle-down economics” is not a real theory. It is a slur of sorts used by those who dislike the theory of supply-side economics. In fact, the phrase “voo-doo economics” was employed first by George Bush, Sr. (and immortalized in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off by Ben Stein) when campaigning against Ronald Reagan in 1980.

The reality is that supply-side economics has nothing to do with the trickle down effect of tax cuts. In fact, if anything supply side would be best thought of as trickle up, and not about taxation, but about ideas. The more you encourage entrepreneurship and innovation, the more new products, services and knowledge will be created and passed into the economy.

Simply put, supply side economics believes that without supply there is no demand. It is a modern manifestation of Say’s Law – Supply creates demand. Even Karl Marx understood this. Note that he wanted to control the “means of production” not the “means of demand.” Keynesianism, and all it modern manifestations, especially those that emanate from “The Krugtron” (Paul Krugman, PS – He called himself the Krugtron) is based on the exact opposite idea – demand creates supply. It is nonsense, unless you believe in fairies that deliver presents (aka Santa Claus) and big government.

Oh wait, those are the same thing.

Creating a new future – Podcasts

This year at Sage Summit, I served as the emcee for a session entitled Creating a new future: Partnering in the age of the cloud.

We assembled a great guest list of Sage Partners and team members. In addition, we recorded the session and the podcasts for each are available by clicking the links below.

Slides from MAX-558 Healing Leadership

Below are the slides from my session at Sage Summit 2014 entitle Healing Leadership. I am indebted to both Howard Hansen and Steve Geske for their remarkable work on this topic and their willingness to allow me to present it. I hope I did it justice.

For more  this topic and to join in the conversation, join the Healing Leaders Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/healingleaders

In addition, you can by their book, Healing Leadership – A Survival Guide for the Enlightened Leader at Amazon. I give it my personal guarantee, if you do not like it I will buy it back from you.

Creating a new future: Partnering in the age of the cloud

On Monday, July 28, 2014, at 3:30pm – 5:00pm PT, I will have the honor of being the emcee for a special session at Sage Summit 2014 exclusively for Sage Partners. The session is entitled Creating a new future: Partnering in the age of the cloud. We will feature Partners as well as Sage team members in casual conversation (read unscripted) on a Tonight Show type set.

This session is dedicated to the possibility that partners will be more successful in the future if they are willing to transform their business model to better reflect the realities of the new market place. This is hard work as it requires us to think differently about our preconceived notions of the past and future. If you are interested in actively participating in the creation of the future, this session is for you. This session is for all partners of Sage regardless of product.

The links below are to Sage Thought Leadership podcasts featuring the named guest.

Here is the tentative agenda:

  • 3:30 – Opening monologue – me
  • 3:40 – Partnering in the future – Joe Langner
  • 3:55 – Partnering with CRM – Peter Wolf and David Beard
  • 4:10 – Position the total solution with a vertical approach – Jeff Roth and Bill Reitz
  • 4:25 – Innovating mobile solutions – Dom Pernai and Doug LaBahn
  • 4:40 – Peering into the future – Stan Mork and Donald Deshaies
  • 4:55 – Closing – moi