…How important it is to have a staff that is passionate and committed to your business. It is hard early on as a CEO to allow others to work on things that you have been envisioning from day 1. You are the one that has been thinking about the business 24/7. So, it becomes hard to let other people come in and take the role of executing your vision. Then you when you get rolling, you realize that their ideas might be better than yours. At that point, it gets easy.
Kevin Davidson or “K.D.” as he is affectionately known, is the acting CEO of Orlando based DS Sports Ventures, LLC, and the visionary behind the groundbreaking new software, BaseballCloud. KD is a graduate of Rollins College (’02) and spent the better of 7 seasons in the Houston Astros organization as a catcher. When an injury cut his career short in 2007, he embarked on a new career as a financial advisor. KD eventually made his way back to the diamond, but this time as a manager in the Florida Collegiate Summer League, of which he is now the Chairman of the Board. KD has been recognized and honored by being named to “Orlando’s Top 40 under 40” businesspeople and helped raise over seven million dollars for local charities. KD’s mark on the game of baseball in the state of Florida is undeniable and has quickly expanded to a national footprint as he leads DS Sports Ventures to the forefront of the data revolution in baseball. BaseballCloud was born from KD’s goal to change the way data is viewed, processed and utilized by providing players, coaches, trainers and scouts a platform to access data in a centralized and resourceful location. Educating the sports market on how data can revolutionize talent and performance is the foundation for creating this groundbreaking software. Over 60 major colleges in the United States have implemented the technology that DS Sports Ventures and Baseball Cloud are responsible for developing, with demand growing daily.
Thank you so much for joining us KD! Can you tell us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Yes, thank you for having me. I found this path by accident, actually. After my professional baseball career, I was managing money for a lot of Major League players. While doing that, I started seeing data playing a role in the way the teams were paying my players and determining the lengths of their contracts. So, I reached out to a guy in my network that knew the most about data, Wes Johnson. I knew Wes for a few years at that time, because he would send me some of his players during summer ball while coaching in the Florida Collegiate Summer League for fun. Wes started showing me “the data” and I was so confused because it was just an excel spreadsheet. My ah-ha moment was then. That’s when I learned the difference between data and software, then BaseballCloud was created.
Can you share one of the major challenges you encountered when first leading the company? What lesson did you learn from that?
The biggest challenge has been deciding what data sources to prioritize. There are so many great data capturing tools out there that we had to really get focused and master the digestion of them. While doing that, it ended up being a positive situation. We got a chance to really learn what these organizations and colleges want on one interface and how they wanted it represented. Now, we are going through that all over again as we are building out the player portal.
What are some of the factors that you believe led to your eventual success?
My team. My team is why we are here. They are rock stars. I am so thankful for the group of people I have with me every day. They are as passionate about our company as I am and that is a big deal in this industry.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO”? Please share a story or an example for each.
What advice would you give to your colleagues to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
I am probably not the guy to ask this to. I do not have an off button. When you are passionate about something, I don’t think that it is possible to burn out. But we will see what the data tells us. LOL
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story? Well I have two. My partner Joe Sleiman for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to pursue this opportunity. The other is Bruce Quinn. Bruce is a very successful technology mogul and has built and sold several technology companies. He strongly advised me to not be stubborn and let the market determine our direction. In the software world, you must be able to pivot at any time and do what the market tells you. And MAN, I hate to give him credit, but he was 100% correct. That is a real thing.
What are some of the goals you still have and are working to accomplish, both personally and professionally?
Personally, I want to be a great father. I want to be a great husband.
Professionally, I want BaseballCloud to be everyone’s first thought when they think about player development.
What do you hope to leave as your lasting legacy?
I want to be known as the guy you never bet against. That is really it. Don’t bet against me.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would enhance people’s lives in some way, what would it be? You never know what your idea can trigger!
That is a tough one for me. I have a lot of ideas that swim around this head of mine. I would have to say a movement that is more supportive of single moms. I was raised by a single mom and got to see firsthand how hard it is for a single mom to make a living and still be there for her children. My mom worked 3 jobs and still was able to attend all my sporting events. It wasn’t easy but she did it. It was a grind for her, but I think it taught me many valuable lessons that I believe have stayed with me as I have grown up and entered the real world. Although she was able to successfully do it, many single mothers could not have
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Personal Twitter: @catchkd7
BaseballCloud Twitter Handle: @BaseballCloudUS
BaseballCloud Facebook: @BaseballCloudUS