Last night I said that I would have a major announcement to make on this site. It is an announcement that I have been preparing to make for several months, but I have told very few people until now. I am now ready to go public with the news.
Today, I submitted my resignation notice to the management at my day job.
Effective June 1, I will be working full-time at Soccermetrics Research & Consulting, LLC.
On or around June 20, I will relocate from Tucson to the metro Atlanta area.
This is a big decision for me, and one for which I have thought a lot, prayed a lot, and consulted with many people. Launching a startup is always going to be a risky endeavor but especially now in a severe recession and uncertain economic climate. It's hard to leave a field that you've been involved with for close to 20 years, but I feel that this opportunity allows me to use more of my skills (math, computing, languages) than I have in any previous job. I have never been more scared about any decision that I've made in my life, but at the same time, I have never been more excited about any decision that I've made in my life. I believe that soccer clubs in Europe, North America, and other places are becoming more aware of the need for a more systematic and analytical approach to evaluating team, player, and organizational performance, and I believe that I am well-positioned to provide those services.
Soccermetrics, the website, started with me following my interest and writing about statistical problems in soccer that interested me. At the beginning I wondered just how many other people would be interested in what I had to write, and it turned out to be quite a lot! I have been overwhelmed by the response that I've received from certain places, especially from the fan websites in Seattle and Salt Lake City. Dave Clark has always sent hundreds of his readers my way, and he introduced me to the problem that gave me a certain level of notoriety, and I thank him sincerely. (I will get back to you on that second-order Pythagorean you sent me, I promise!) Most of all I have been heartened to know that this site is read by performance analysts at clubs around the world, from Major League Soccer to the English Premier League to other clubs in Continental Europe. I'm sure there are other members of the soccer industry who follow this site as well. With Soccermetrics, the company, I look forward to providing you with the information to make your clubs and organizations successful.
On top of this change in employment comes a change in scenery, or at least, a return to familiar scenery. As some people know, I am originally from southeast Florida and an alumnus of the Georgia Institute of Technology. I write a lot about my Stanford ties on this site, but Georgia Tech has a special place in my heart. I grew as a person and an engineer there, and I am proud of how much the Institute has grown since I graduated from Tech. There is a growing startup community in Atlanta and I look forward to interacting with them through Tech's Advanced Technology Development Center. I also look forward to re-establishing ties with the faculty at Tech, especially those who are doing research in sports analytics.
As for Atlanta, the city has grown tremendously since I graduated from there. I love Atlanta and have been trying to get back to that city for years, and now I have my opportunity. It's still relatively inexpensive to live there compared to other major cities, and it is much closer to my family than Tucson (or Phoenix, which was my second most-preferred city).
To all who have offered assistance with several projects of mine over the past two years, I thank you for your offers and I have not forgotten you. I am working on the right way to incorporate that into this company. In anticipation of further emails I will receive, I am not formally hiring additional people at this time and I am not in need of outside capital. Soccermetrics LLC is 100% boot-strapped and I want to keep it that way for the foreseeable future.
As for this site, it will remain the same but it will become the official voice of my company. I will still discuss conferences, write about interesting papers that I'm reading and continue with the Pythagorean tables, the CONCACAF club/country coefficients, and other metrics that I want to share, but I anticipate that I will be more reticent about other things as well. I do see myself as part of the open-source soccer analytics community and I want to be a contributing member to it. How will I do that? Well, I'm going to keep that to myself for now.
Once again, I thank all of my readers for their visits, for their comments, for their e-mails, and for their encouragement. I look forward to further interaction with you and in particular my future clients.