The Boxscore Geeks Show: The Alliance, with Regular Special Guest Chris Yeh

This Week's Show

Chris Yeh returns to the show and discusses his New York Times bestselling book, The Alliance, and it's principles apply to sports and other industries.



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Video Show

Show Notes

Chris Yeh is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller "the Alliance", which he wrote with amazingly talented co-authors Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha. As Brian notes, he's a "regular" special guest, having appeared on episode 10!

Chris isn't resting on his laurels either. Next year he'll be releasing a book on Blitzscaling with Reid Hoffman. Blitzscaling is the process of rapid growth to gain market advantage. I'm sure I over simplified that, but lucky you, Chris was a guest lecturer at Stanford, and thanks to Greymatter the entire course is available in podcast form!

Chris notes he reads the site regularly but doesn't often comment. Of course, he'll make an exception for posts on the 1980s Lakers.

Chris has also written about the 1990s and 2000s Lakers.

Hitting your thirties can be rough. A game I've come up with is using player numbers instead of age. At 32 you're Magic Johnson, 33 you're Larry Bird. Chris notes 34 can be Shaq or Hakeem. We couldn't think of it on the show, but of course, 35 is Kevin Durant. At 36, it's downhill though as it's either Boston Shaq or Rasheed Wallace.

One of the key points of the Alliance is being honest about the relationship between employee and employer. Namely, the idea of job security (from both the employee and employer) is a myth. The NBA has the same issue, where teams and players have to feign loyalty and that they'd never try and move teams.

Another key point in the Alliance is the concept of a "Tour of Duty." Namely, a person having a defined timeline, criteria, and what both the employee and employer expect at the end. Note this is different than a contract. We discuss players like D'Angelo Russell, who could use this, as well as teams like the Spurs, that seem good at this.

Hassan Whiteside is the best per-minute Center in the NBA (minimum of 500 minutes played.)

"The main thing employees are looking for is career development," says Chris. Obviously, this applies to the NBA as well.

Another concept in the Alliance is the idea of an "Alumni Network" which is about fostering an amicable relationship former employees. Chris does not many companies don't do this well. However, in the NBA, the Spurs seem great at maintaining relationships with former players.

We kind of dislike the term "role player." However, the idea of players having a clear expectation of ... their role, seems to be good. Andrew Bogut with the Warriors is a fun example. Remember, when Warriors fans booed that trade?

If you're a Warriors fan, we spend quite a bit of time talking them, tune in!

We discuss team chemistry. Some Google research suggests that being nice is valuable to teamwork. We talk about the tradeoff between talented workers that are jerks.

Is baseball a one on one sport?

We talk the Rockets a bit. Right before they recorded this show, they signed Michael Beasley, another baffling move.

"Dwight Howard should be Tyson Chandler 3.0, but he's an idiot" - Chris Yeh (Lakers fan)

I think the 2008 Celtics are probably the best team in Celtics history. Come at 1986 fans!

We end the show talking a bit about the Lakers. The Lakers treat their franchise players and role players much differently. Of course, Los Angeles has other side benefits that can still work to lure free agents.

Sash Vujacic was a decent player for the Lakers last two titles.