Elon Musk and Moneyball

William Wen


Yesterday, a movie clip popped up on my YouTube feed. It’s a scene from Moneyball (book, movie), starring Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, general manager of Major League Baseball’s Oakland A’s from 1997–2016.

Moneyball propelled baseball analytics into the mainstream, where Beane used statistics to build winning teams against organizations with much larger budgets. It’s baseball’s David vs. Goliath story. Highly recommended.

Go ahead and watch the clip. It’s only 3 minutes long. How does it relate to Elon Musk? I’ll break it down for you after.


Well, baseball can hate him.

One of the great things about money is it buys a lot of things.

One of which is luxury to disregard what baseball likes, doesn’t like, what baseball thinks, doesn’t think

Like him or not, Elon Musk has a lot of money. With Twitter, he can buy it and run it with disregard to what the media likes, doesn’t like, what the media thinks, doesn’t think. Sorry, that incudes you too.

No wonder the media hates him. Do you hate him? And if so, why? Because the media told you so?

For $41 million dollars, you built a playoff team.

You lost Damon, Giambi, Isringhausen, and Peña,

and you won more games without them than with them.

You won the exact same number of games that the (New York) Yankees won…

But the Yankees spent $1.4M per win, and you paid $260,000.

For those who didn’t watch MLB in the early 2000s, Damon, Giambi, Isringhausen, and Peña were all huge names in baseball. Perennial All-Star level talent. Yet without them, and their big salaries, the Oakland A’s were still as successful as the biggest spending teams in baseball, notably the Yankees.

After shedding 70%+ of the employees, Twitter is still humming along after Musk took over. In fact, Twitter is growing active users. Will there be…