Courtesy photo from Tibco
More on Vivek Ranadivé, possibly the future Greatest Owner of All Time.
I went to my thesaurus -- all bloggers have thesaurii next to their laptops, behind the cheesy poofs -- and looked up Maloofs, The and it was there that I found antonym: Vivek Ranadivé and Mark Mastrov and it was then that I smiled and closed my eyes and wished for a time machine that would take me to April 20, 2013.
We briefly discussed Mastrov's potential philosophy a few weeks ago. Now the word is that Ranadivé will actually take the lead in the new ownership group. Vivek is a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors right now, and based on what I've been able to read since his name popped up Thursday, he's pretty limited in that organization. He has massive ideas. Hence, an opportunity to take a lead role in a franchise would be enticing.
Here's some required reading on Ranadivé.
Ranadivé looked at his girls. Morgan and Julia were serious basketball players. But Nicky, Angela, Dani, Holly, Annika, and his own daughter, Anjali, had never played the game before. They weren't all that tall. They couldn't shoot. They weren't particularly adept at dribbling. They were not the sort who played pickup games at the playground every evening. Most of them were, as Ranadivé says, "little blond girls" from Menlo Park and Redwood City, the heart of Silicon Valley. These were the daughters of computer programmers and people with graduate degrees. They worked on science projects, and read books, and went on ski vacations with their parents, and dreamed about growing up to be marine biologists. Ranadivé knew that if they played the conventional way-if they let their opponents dribble the ball up the court without opposition-they would almost certainly lose to the girls for whom basketball was a passion. Ranadivé came to America as a seventeen-year-old, with fifty dollars in his pocket. He was not one to accept losing easily. His second principle, then, was that his team would play a real full-court press, every game, all the time. The team ended up at the national championships. "It was really random," Anjali Ranadivé said. "I mean, my father had never played basketball before."
The piece also includes must-read info on his innovations, ideas and relationship with Niner great Roger Craig, who is a high-level official in Vivek's software company. (Craig is in charge of business development.)
He says he was a punk back then. He is still something of a punk. A rival once stood up at a meeting and joked that he'd always thought that the Tib in Tibco stood for "that Indian bastard." Ranadivé built a house a few years ago with a swimming pool that has an underground window, so from the basement bar you can look in and see people swimming. He yanks his employees out of meetings to challenge them to push-up contests in the hall. He once called Steve Jobs to ask him how to use Photoshop. At a dinner in New York one rainy night a few months ago, after speaking to a bunch of M.B.A.'s, he ordered the most expensive steak on the menu as an appetizer for the employees who were traveling with him. And listen to him in an interview in 2009, talking about his competition: "There are not that many people who can say that they have gone head-on against IBM and beaten them in a situation where IBM has thrown everything and the kitchen sink at a problem and lost."
This story also includes an amazing photo of Vivek floating in a pool.
Some more from this excellent piece:
Ranadivé believes the Warriors can be a model of how an organization can revolutionize its operations through the use of real-time data. His vision goes roughly like this:
When a ticket holder arrives at Oracle Arena for a game, he could flash a bar-coded pass to enter the parking garage, sending a signal that he has arrived and allowing him quick and easy entry to the game. The computer system would know that at last week's game, he bought two youth jerseys. It would also know that there's a surplus of youth hats at the team store at the moment, so it could send him a text message offering a 20 percent discount on hats. When he's in his seat, he'd be able to watch instant replays and other exclusive content on his phone. At the end of the third quarter, when the computer system showed that the concession stand near his seats had too many hot dogs, it could send him a buy-one-get-one-free offer - because it also knows that he sometimes buys hot dogs at games.
The right information to the right people at the right time in the right context.
One reason Ranadive has pulled off so many successes is that he has learned to stay two seconds ahead. Hence the name of one of his books, "The Two-Second Advantage." He crunches data and spots patterns he knows are likely to result in certain outcomes. And this predictive technology has evolved to the point where it's about to explode.
Data are becoming democratized. With laptops, smartphones and social networks, data can flow instantly. And software that puts data into a valuable context can avert many of the world's problems, from power outages and food shortages to terrorist threats and even financial crises.
"A little bit of the right information, just a little bit beforehand, is more valuable than all the information in the world six months afterward," Ranadive said.