NCAA

Final Four – Who wins: Experience, Education, Attitude or Aptitude?

With the Final Four of the NCAA basketball tournament decided, everyone is analyzing all aspects of the remaining four teams.    No one is looking closer than the odds-makers in Vegas.     Legacies will be decided, fortunes in wagers will be made or lost, and office pools around the country will be awarded to those who accurately filled in their brackets.   From 68 teams, only 4 remain, with the final two games to decide a champion.

Like many others, I picked Kentucky to win it all.   But, I only accurately picked 2 of the final four.   It is hard to know how a young athlete will perform in stressful situations.   It is even harder to predict how they will play against teams and defenses they have never seen.   For this reason, having a perfect bracket is nearly impossible, with odds of picking every winner at almost one in a billion!

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Swimmers are Nerds!

While in college, my career aspirations ranged from physician, lawyer, teacher or swim coach.   Likewise, my roommate was considering sales or marketing careers.   Years later, it seems statistically impossible that both of us would own technology companies.    While in school, neither one of us wanted to be in an IT field, and we both would have debated anyone labeling us as nerds.   Yet, here we are in the ultimate nerd job – both running companies that sell computers. I decided to conduct a “scientific study” to see if this was really such a coincidence.   My roommate and I were both college swimmers, and maybe our unique personalities are more drawn to technology than others.   I embarked on trying to prove my hypothesis – collegiate level swimmers are nerds.

To prove my point, I did some massive searches of thousands of people on LinkedIn.    I found all the people who have “NCAA Swimmer” in their profile, and calculated the percentage of those who are in Information Technology industries vs other industries.    I then calculated the same percentages for other LinkedIn search terms – NCAA baseball, NCAA basketball, NCAA football, NCAA gymnastics, and NCAA Tennis.    Obviously, this analysis is not 100% accurate, but it is as close as I could get to figuring out who on LinkedIn was a college athlete in a particular sport.   And obviously there are numerous other technical careers, but I wanted to focus on information technology in particular – my industry. (more…)