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Innovation happens...

"Innovations happens" Matt Ridley famously wrote, "when ideas have sex." This blog is about two innovations born from the encounter between ideas.

It was in the summer of 1965 when Joel Pritchard, a businessman and later a politician, was at his vacation home with his wife and children. A friend of Pritchard’s was also there - Bill Bell, who, with his own family, was enjoying a summer getaway. Bell and Pritchard were enjoying refined activities, such as golf. Upon returning to the summer home on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon, the men were dismayed to see bored families. So they had an idea. Why not play some badminton?

The plan would have worked out if there was a shuttlecock (the ball to play badminton) available, but nobody could find one. It was time for a backup plan. So Bell and Pritchard asked the kids to come up with a game. They improvised with ping-pong paddles and a plastic ball. And they played the first pickleball match in history.

Matchmaking started as a learning-how-to-code project, the idea was to connect tennis players of similar skill level and schedule. It later became a CRM and was adapted to pickleball.

Luis Gerardo López Torneo Nacional de Pickleball

Last year I was playing at Valle de Bravo and saw a guy filming a pickleball documentary for the big communications company TV Azteca. I was so disappointed that there was no footage of me at all. As a child, I always dreamed of becoming a professional athlete and showing off my skills to the world, to be part of something bigger than myself. It would have been such an awesome feeling. That idea stuck in my head for a while, every day I see normal people on youtube acting as if they were famous, so why not give amateur players the same feeling?

After having developed MVPs for Silicon Valley companies as well as Matchmaking, I knew what to do. I searched for the easiest and most reliable tool to live stream, which apparently is mostly used by gamers. In a couple of weeks, we adapted it to sports and showed our first MVP to the Gearbox guys. They wanted to try it out at the Circuito Gearbox in Chapala.

Luis Gerardo López Torneo Nacional de Pickleball
Luis Gerardo López Torneo Nacional de Pickleball

I don’t know if Matchmaking will transform the way we play sports. I don't know if Matchmaking will become a successful company. I don't know if by live-streaming sports we will stop being the country with the highest childhood obesity in the world. But I do know one thing: When we refuse to give up on our childhood dreams, when we take old ideas and turn them into something new and exciting, that's when the magic happens.

We will be live-streaming the Circuito Gearbox in Mexico City on the 18, 19, and 20th of March. And also in Zacatecas on the 14, 15, and 16th of April.

"There is no such thing as a new idea...We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations." — Mark Twain.

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