The introduction of technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence has drastically changed how we interact with the world around us. As robots learn and display human features such as thinking and conduct, they will have a game-changing influence on every business, including sports. In athletics, success is always determined by one’s ability to perform. And how we might utilize AI to judge individual player performances is one of the most important ways AI is altering the sports sector. Coaches and analysts may assess a player’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as track their growth over time.
As a high-level player who never felt like he had his chance to play against the greatest, Billy Brush, Founder & CEO of DarkHorse, feels a sense of unfairness. He was well aware that sports technology was on its way, like a freight train. He wanted to be a part of it and show the world that he could assist and that he had what it took to create a business from the ground up in the most unpredictable area on the planet, Silicon Valley. DarkHorse is the world’s first scalable youth sports community that analyses player performance using cutting-edge technologies and analytics.
He says, “I had a strong feeling that came to me and had to make a choice: do I watch someone else build a technology half way (idea came to me) or do I get involved in building a future which can truly inspire players to grow and find an environment and opportunity that would have never been possible without my help.” He felt like he could truly make a difference, and if he didn’t do it, someone would surely try.
The Moment of Realization
For ten years, Billy has worked as a master coach, a developer, and a software manager for the Department of Defense’s electronic healthcare record, overseeing multimillion-dollar software systems. Billy’s career began when he chose what he would concentrate on one thing and one thing only. “I worked from 2007-2017 in DoD while also working my way up to becoming a master coach. As a leader, I made the decision to pursue soccer in order to make the most impact.” That was in November 2019, after reading that Alexis Ohanian had invested in a soccer scouting technology start-up named “Gloria.” Billy knew he was all-in till the end at that point. Scott Sandell recently expressed his efforts to be well prepared for a presentation, which was the finest appreciation anybody has given him.
Before founding DarkHorse, Billy worked in technology before becoming a master coach. He constantly felt like he was putting out both ends of the candle and dashing through fast sand. As Jim Carey said, “find something which causes the world to present their best selves to you.” Billy realized what this meant when he decided to concentrate on DarkHorse. “You just know when you’re doing the right thing because others around you are attracted in a powerful way,” he says.
As a CEO, Billy recognizes that there is no such thing as a job description for a leader. He’s completed every task. He refers to Steve Job’s quote, “Those who really create change are no only the thinkers but also the doers.” Those who don’t put in the effort won’t last long at DarkHorse. The vision, according to Billy, is the one object worth mentioning. As the concept only applies to one person, you must persuade grownups on a daily basis that what you’re doing is important; you’re making history.
Billy has seen the finest that the world has to offer, so this meant a lot to him. He says, “In addition, my wife, who has stood by me in my darkest hours, against those who call me a “dreamer.” Without Heather, I’d be in trouble. We’ve been going strong for 20 years now.”
Pushing Own Boundaries Everyday
Challenges, according to Billy, make you stronger and better. According to him, problems compel you to continually think about your deficiencies and develop them while enhancing your strengths. He believes the primary stumbling point was originally not the idea, but rather establishing the technology and truly understanding how to create a business out of thin air. It’s one thing to lead, but it’s another to create an enterprise out of thin air. He also feels that starting a firm is one thing, but attracting a world-class venture capitalist to understand your vision and potential is quite another. He says, “All of this while maintaining a group of world-class engineers who are underpaid and keeping a stable family life with your wife and 4 children.”
Entrepreneurial challenges, as per Billy, are a daily battle that is not for the faint of heart. “The sacrifices are enormous”. However, he convinced himself that if he wasn’t happy, it would be impossible for him to genuinely be whole for his family. Every day, Billy picks up a new skill. He recalls, “One that I’ve recently discovered worth sharing for crazy people who follow is to constantly reflect on your weaknesses and then search out great books to develop yourself while in the process.” Early on, character drives a good business. I’ve learned that you’ll make so many mistakes because of taking risks. Never ever critique anyone. Not on your team, especially. The only person to critique is yourself until you’re perfect.”
Being consistent is the Key
Billy admits that he hasn’t yet found a work-life balance. He’s learned that starting with preparation and sticking to a routine is successful. For example, he goes out to lunch with his wife once a week to catch up.
In addition, Billy has school drop-offs, pick-ups, and Chick Fila lunches every week, and he spends one day a week with each of his children to ensure they understand how much he cares for them and how valuable they are to him. He says, “Rolling with things in a start-up didn’t work for me. Planning has helped. But still, things are constantly shifting, so sometimes I have to shuffle and again make a sacrifice. Without saying names, someone special to me has a ritual of hugging their kids and telling them they love them every day before they go to sleep. Therefore, at a minimum, no matter how busy they are, they make contact, look them in the eye, and tell them they care. The little things add up over time.”
“Reaching Your Goals is Success”
“Success is figuring out a way to reach your goals through passion and consistent dedication,” says Billy. He describes it as a quest for something beyond your grasp and the development of instruments to achieve an astounding objective against all difficulties. He goes on to say that without pushing oneself, some of the world’s most beautiful cities, inventions, and relationships would not have been conceivable. “Passion and dedication are the two ingredients which fuel the impossible, making success inevitable.”
Disrupting Sports Tech
Billy’s mission is to show athletes all over the world that, with the help of “Silicon Valley technology,” they can take charge of their future and achieve their goals as athletes if they are ready to put in the effort. As Barcelona puts it, more than a club, more than technology, DarkHorse is creating a social venture that has a positive influence on the world and motivates athletes in a variety of ways; it’s much more than a product.
Billy wants to be the person who uses technology to make a difference in athletics. He says, “No one has ever disrupted sports using technology.” He claims that if you look at the most popular websites, you’ll see that none of them are sports-related, such as YouTube, Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Apple. That group will include DarkHorse.
A Message for Seekers
Billy’s advice to prospective business leaders is to study and live by the book “The Alchemist.” If necessary, read it several times. Then read about the trillion-dollar coach (the life of Bill Campbell). He says, “Between those two books, you’ll have the foundation to do big things. And, never ever listen to those who say you can’t. You’ll get rejected often. Be prepared. Until you have really built something somewhat cool that is unique, you will be treated like you’re crazy. “