Monday, January 14, 2008

Mr. Stronach has a link to a Baltimore Sun feature on Frank Stronach and Magna. It is a very interesting piece on an interesting self-made man.

In our post immediately below on Woodbine, several comments were critical of Woodbine in several areas. I thought all were constructive comments, however, from people who enjoy the game and want to see it grow. Woodbine, based on what can be done in this racing environment has done some good things., wireless betting at the track, rewards programs which are pretty good when looked at from an overall perspective and much more. There is some good being done, and I think the people there do love the game.

Frank and Magna are similar in that they seem to be an easy target for horseplayer criticism. When reading that story it struck me: Frank Stronach is good for racing and he loves the game. Most, if not all critical commentary in that piece and elsewhere, relates to his love of horse racing - almost without fail, in my opinion.

This brings us to our theme on this blog: Frank Stronach made a multi-billion dollar auto-parts company from the ground up, as an immigrant with very little net worth. In racing, his company has stumbled; with the same person running it! That to me says more about racing than it does about Frank. Racing and its rules, pricing mechanism, business model and revenue drivers must change to a perfectly competitive business model, so businessmen can help the game grow. Ron Geary, another excellent businessman, seems to be having trouble with running a racetrack in several areas as well, due to no fault of his own.

If Bill Gates, or Jeff Bezos or the gang at betfair walked into a business and all failed, or did poorly we would have to believe they aren't the problem, the business is. I think this is similar.

How can we change the game for the better, by changing rules, models and all the rest, so successful people who run businesses outside racing, don't seem to look like fish-out-of water in it? I don't know, but we'll keep working to try and find an answer.

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