by Kevin Coupe
Michael Sansolo wrote recently about business lessons that can be learned from R.A. Dickey, the New York Mets pitcher who has had a late career resurgence because of his mastery of the knuckleball - and because he seems to be a genuinely nice, thoughtful guy who is the antithesis of the self-centered modern professional athlete.
Well, here's another lesson from R.A. Dickey ... though probably one he'd rather not be teaching.
The Wall Street Journal reports that in one of life's nicer ironies, a pair of documentary filmmakers have completed a movie entitled Knuckleball, which was designed to look at Dickey and Tim Wakefield, who threw the often confounding pitch for the Boston Red Sox. But then Wakefield retired, leaving Dickey as the only knuckleballer in Major League Baseball - and the great season he's having made the timing fortuitous.
Except that there's one problem. Because of the way that the movie distribution business works, Knuckleball is not likely to be in theaters - or even available via pay-per-view - until at least September. Which has the producers at least a little concerned that they could miss their window of opportunity; while Dickey has had an amazing first half of the season, it is hardly a sure-fire guarantee that the second half will go as well, or that the NY Mets will remain in contention for a post-season slot.
The lessons are simple. Timing is everything. And sometimes, despite all the advances that have been made in how businesses operate, legacy systems can get in the way of efficient and effective distribution.