William Liao

March 16, 2022

compete with yesterday

When my team was figuring out how to measure the success of our business in my first job, a lot of managers would frequently reference the book Moneyball

Moneyball covers how the Oakland Athletics baseball team and their general manager, Billy Beane, used rigorous data analysis to boil down how they contracted new players to just two metrics: on-base percentage and slugging percentage. 

The simplicity of their approach — the fact that they only had to pay attention to just a couple of pieces of information — was something that my team admired greatly. 

Recently, I’ve been in search of a similar metric — a data point that can help let me know whether I’m consistently growing or not. 

The metric I landed on boils down to one question: “Was my performance today better than yesterday?”

When I ask myself this question, I’m forced to think critically about what my goals are and how much much progress I made towards them today compared to yesterday.

If I can honestly answer “yes,” I know I’m heading in the right direction.

If the honest answer is “no,” then it’s an invitation to review what went wrong, what lessons I learned, and how I can implement them the following day. 

The thing we shouldn’t forget about the proverbial line graph that projects growth — you know the one where the line goes up and to the right — is that it’s made up of a bunch of data points. 

Each day is a data point, and the mission of each day is to make it slightly higher than the day before it. 

Do that enough times, and it adds up — that’s growth.