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A place to share experiences in building Software-as-a-Service.

Is baseball the best sports analogy for entrepreneurship?

by Sebastien Mirolo on Sun, 21 Apr 2013

There are a lot of sports metaphors thrown around in business. I have already written about technology for the sports fan. Most prevalent in the startup world is the home run hit. Baseball is a popular sport, and since the San Francisco Giants are at the top of their game, it is quite understandable that baseball gets thrown around a lot around in the bay area tech circles.

Unlike baseball, which is fundamentally hit, run, and pray for the best, there are all kinds of adjustments required to building and selling a business.

However, I prefer to describe the activities of an entrepreneur as surfing giant waves (On a side note, "The Wave", by Susan Casey, is an amazing book on the subject of giant waves and people pursuing them).

Surfing starts with hours of preparation on the beach before you make it into the water. When you figured out where the waves are most likely to break, you are ready to take your spot on the line. Then you wait ...

You wait until you sense a wave forming on the horizon. It is time. You paddle as fast as you can, jump on board and try to keep your balance the whole ride. You also need to remember that exiting the wave with style is also required.

Many times it is hard to predict how big the wave will break, and since you are committed you have to keep going until the end. Along the way other surfers might also cramp your style, trying to catch "your" wave.

Most surfers do not surf for a living but live to surf, ... until a close call, a last wipe out. They burned out trying to make that shot in a million. Maybe it is a little bit like baseball... What do you think?