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Bad Calls at the World Cup: Any Business Lessons From This Pain?

June 29th, 2010 | Small Business | No Comments »

My KikScore partner, Travis, challenged me to find any good that has come from all of the terrible calls made during the World Cup.  Not one to turn down a decent challenge (sorry Raj, but that White Snake challenge was weak at best), I am presenting the business lessons from the referring debacle that is the World Cup:

1.  Any Press is Good Press:  Let’s face it, all the terrible calls (and the video replays of the terrible calls) prove the point that there really is little difference from being famous versus infamous.  Either way the event is well known.  For the first time since 3rd grade, I’ve been paying attention to soccer — and so have a lot of other non-soccer fans.  People unfamiliar with the sport are now watching the games, learning the rules, just so they can talk about the bad calls.  The business lesson here is obvious.  Getting the word out trumps pretty much everything else.

2.  The Best Team Doesn’t Always Win:  England should have trounced the U.S.  The U.S. should have beaten Algeria.  But that’s why you play the games.  And sometimes the best team doesn’t win.  Same goes for products and businesses.  Sometimes the best service becomes a niche player.  And sometimes a third party (a referee, a very litigious individual, or a government) intervenes and makes the decision for the marketplace.  Just like soccer matches, your product has to survive in the real world, which isn’t a completely efficient marketplace of ideas. 

3.  Anger enough people, and The Rules Will Change:  The flip side of my first point is that if the current rules set in place promote incompetence and anger enough people, tradition will be sacrificed and the rules will change in an attempt to prevent a recurrence of the same issue.  So there is no instant replay for FIFA games.  With all the anger about the blown calls, there is now serious talk about creating instant replays.  Same goes for business.  If you creat enough ill-will, the rules will change for your business.  Just ask Goldman Sachs.

Feel free to share any other business lessons learned from this outbreak of bad calls.

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