business | April 04, 2011

The Extra 2%: Baseball and Business Writer Jonah Keri on Exploiting Every Advantage

Please welcome our newest speaker, Jonah Keri, a journalist who covers business, baseball, and their surprisingly fertile overlap. Keri is the author of the just-minted New York Times bestseller The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First. In the tradition of Moneyball, Keri’s book takes an engaging look at how three former financial whiz kids and baseball outsiders took over the Tampa Bay Rays, leading them from divisional doormats to World Series contenders. It’s a perfect book for baseball buffs and business innovation seekers alike.

Visiting the Lavin offices last week, Jonah shared some lessons from the book, which shows readers how to exploit every small organizational advantage they can. Jonah mentioned that what’s great about setting out to do 2% better in all areas of a business — marketing, player acquisition, management, etc. — is that, sometimes, the pay off will be much higher than just the 2%. So, the 2% advantage sometimes becomes a 40% advantage! But you would never have stumbled upon this if you hadn’t first applied the 2% rule to everything equally.

Read more about business speaker Jonah Keri

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