In case you don’t follow soccer (if you’re in the US) or football (elsewhere in the world), the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer recently lured English soccer phenom David Beckham to the US for a reported $250 million over 5 years.
Until last night, David has been a bit of a bust on the soccer pitch as he hasn’t played much due to some nagging injuries. But Sir Beckham broke out of the doldrums last night when he scored one goal on a free kick and assisted on another goal leading the Galaxy to a 2-0 win over their DC United rival. Our family was at the game and had a great view of Beckham bending in the goal over a wall of DC defenders.
Here is a great YouTube video showing the goal from about a hundred different angles.
So, you’re asking the obvious questions – what does soccer or $250mm have to do with this blog or the Catalyze community? While a goal and an assist from Beckham has barely made a dent in the cost of bringing Beckham to the US, he has already energized ticket sales for games where he wasn’t even playing and has already helped sell 250,000 Beckham jerseys.
It got me thinking that sometimes you do need to spend money to get the best person to energize your company or take it to the next level. (Plus, writing a blog post on David Beckham can only boost the rankings and visibility of my blog — and I will be able to Google my name along with David Beckham and Catalyze and find this blog post.)
You can settle for mediocrity or you can pay to get the job done right. To further illustrate my point, I ran across a blog entry titled “10 Developers for the Price of One” that discusses software developer productivity – and it discussed that the studies in the difference in productivity between the best and worst programmers ranged from 10:1 to 28:1.
It’s not that the best programmers are spitting out more code than the others, it’s a “total cost of ownership” issue. The better programmers:
- take ownership of a project
- write code with less bugs
- write maintainable code
- do more with less code
So, if Beckham worth $50mm per year? Maybe or maybe not. But he has already generated a ton of publicity for Major League Soccer even when he wasn’t playing up to par.
Now you just have to justify to your manager that you deserve a 28x raise! (note to my manager – I would sette for a 10x raise).
[this entry was originally posted in the Catalyze Current Wisdom blog on August 16, 2007]