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Owners' Box: Just Make Hits (By Peter Guber) - 4/11/11

Fans are encouraged to send questions to OwnersBox@gs-warriors.com. All questions will be read and we will answer as many as we can, so check back for updates throughout the season.

Monday, April 11 (10:55 a.m.)

Just Make Hits
By Peter Guber

When I was Chairman and CEO of Sony, I was faced early on with presenting the film-making financial and business plan for success to our Japanese owners for not one, but two studios under our control - Tri Star and Columbia Pictures. My CFO proposed that of the 16 films made by each studio, four (4) would be bona fide blockbusters, four (4) would be domestic hits, four (4) would prove to be cash break-even propositions and four (4) would be flops. At the end of the lengthy presentation, Sony's owner leaned into me and whispered, "Guber-san, why do we have to make the flops?"

What I learned from this is that no one knows for sure what is guaranteed to work. Not anyone! Not the media pundits, not the most rabid fans, not the wealthiest or most experienced owners, not the players. There will be failure. The key is to make it quick and learn from it.

The alchemy to success on and off the court is not 100% change on 100% of the agenda items. Rather, it's the attitude of constant and never-ending improvement in each of the areas. The cumulative effect is monumental. As owners, we have a responsibility and the authority to see that attitude applied to every facet of our operation. This means being constantly impatient, but not imprudent. Throwing economic resources at problems is rarely the best solution. This season, with a new coach, a new attitude and an elevated aptitude, the team is on the verge of increasing its win total by double figures, 10 or more - nearly a 40% increase.

No doubt, winning on the floor is job #1. But what we also have to win is the hearts and minds of our fans who we've committed to providing a great sports entertainment experience, which includes service, food, merchandising, improved arena amenities and on and on and on. And, I mean and on and on and on. These things take time. It's like a supertanker, not like a point guard; it can't turn on a dime.

We've been at it since the end of November. This is not the end. It's not the end of the beginning. It's the beginning of the beginning. All changes won't work. But we can't be risk averse. We can't win all the games and we can't win in all the other areas. However, the idea is to bring imagination, experience and entrepreneurial zeal to all the activities that make up the experience for all of our fans, players, employees and investors.

That's why we made this commitment to a higher set of expectations for our basketball team and our business and reached out to our fans to embrace that. I'm not particularly fond in the entertainment business of making promises, whether that be for on-screen movies or television results. The strategy of just making hits doesn't work, for anyone. But the commitment, talent and resources focused on success, does pay dividends. What we promise is that our heart, tongue, feet and wallet are committed to that journey.

Somehow this feels like I've been here before. I have. And, I know the journey is long, uncertain and arduous. But my hope is that you, our fans, will know that Joe and I are unconditionally committed to winning.

And that's what I'm telling you.








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