What Can Sports Teach You About Running a Tech Business?

Running a business is hard but running a tech business is harder.
What Can Sports Teach You about Running a Tech Business

Running a business is hard but running a tech business is harder. It doesn’t matter if you’re starting up your first business, or you’re at the helm of a major international enterprise, there will always be difficulties.

This, of course, doesn’t mean that running a tech business isn’t worth it. Setting up a company of your own to grow and expand can be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have.

To ensure success, one of the most important things a business owner can do is learn lessons from as many sources as possible. Learning from the mistakes of other business people, having a mentor, reading books, and watching documentaries are all great ways to learn.

Sport can also provide lessons to tech business owners, here is a look at some of them.  


Basketball: Engage your customers in innovative ways

What Can Sports Teach You about Running a Tech Business

Basketball is a sport that has always embraced change and technology. From the decision to introduce the shot clock in 1954, through to the use of cameras that track players on the court today, the NBA has been at the forefront of finding innovative ways to engage their fans.

Basketball fans can follow their sport in many ways. The NBA League Pass service offers live and on-demand streaming of every single NBA game each season, allowing fans to watch games at a time that is convenient for them, on almost any device they choose. 

Through bookmakers, NBA fans are able to place a range of wagers on games covering everything from the winner of the game, through to how many three pointers will be scored by a particular player. Placing such bets can add an additional element of excitement to a game. 

The NBA also engages both local fans and those in other regions through its eSports league; the NBA 2K League was the first of its kind to be launched by a major professional league in the United States.

All of these are innovative ways that the NBA has been able to successfully attract new fans, and retain its existing supporters. This is particularly important, since the old methods of the 20th century are not as effective, leaving many other sports leagues suffering from declining fan numbers.


Formula One: Have a goal and focus on it

Michael Schumacher entered Formula 1 in the second half of the 1991 season, taking a vacant seat at the Jordan team after their previous driver had got into trouble with the police.

From the moment he first got into the car, he was beating his more experienced competitors. He qualified 7th for his first race, but the car broke down shortly after the start; however, he had put in such an impressive performance that he was poached by the Benetton team for his second race.

Three years later, Schumacher won his first of seven World Drivers Titles, the second followed the following year and a further five consecutive titles between 2000 and 2004.

Schumacher’s success was not overnight, despite him making it appear so during his first race weekend. He had been working towards arriving in Formula One his entire life, starting in go-karts and moving up through junior ranks. He had a tunnel vision, concentrating on achieving his goal completely.

Schumacher trained hard in the gym, he analysed his performance and found ways to improve, he sought out opportunities to gain an advantage at every level and he built a supportive team around him. This allowed him to achieve levels of success not previously seen in the sport before.

By following the approach of Michael Schumacher, tech business owners can achieve the success they desire. It requires you to set goals, preferably ones that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timebound), and to continuously work towards achieving those goals. 


NFL: Know how to measure your success

What Can Sports Teach You about Running a Tech Business

Sports in America are different from some other countries. Americans love their statistics: knowing how frequently a team wins in the game following a defeat, how many points are scored in an average game between two particular teams, and many many more.

This is particularly true in the NFL, where there are statistics from the proportion of wins to losses to the number of completed passes. Both defence and offence are analysed through 10s of different statistics, allowing for weak points in performance to be highlighted.

In your business, statistics can be useful too. In the business world, these are typically known as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). They vary from business to business and industry to industry.

KPIs can include conversion rates, the number of visits to a website, days without accidents, performance against SEO objectives, customer complaints, revenue targets, or the number of people signed up to a newsletter. The list is endless and will depend on your goals and the nature of your business.

There are many lessons from the world of sport that can be applied to business. Most of these can be applied pretty universally, such as goal setting, being innovative and measuring your success through objective statistics. 

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