Nate Silver – The Billy Bean Of Politics

One of my favorite books is Moneyball.  If you haven’t read it, you should.  It’s basically the story of how a guy (Billy Bean) turned an entire industry (professional baseball) on it head by applying statistics and analysis.

Well, for about a year I’ve been following a website called FiveThirtyEight which basically brings rigorous statistical analysis to politics.  It turns out the founder, Nate Silver, of FiveThirtyEight got his start in baseball analytics and it shows.

Below is an interview of Nate by Dan Rather that really captures the power of data and the value of analytics.

If you haven’t seen it, Andrew Chen has a good post on leveraging analytics and statistics for startups.  But as Nate Silver says in the video, the key to politics is both messaging and metrics and historically politicians and their campaigns have focused on messaging.  But great campaigns do both.  I think the same goes for startups.