42. Bill Veeck

The Iowa Idea: Bill Veeck

I try not to break the rules but merely to test their elasticity.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, Gino Chirio returns as we celebrate October baseball, even though our beloved South Siders were bounced from the playoffs. Gino and I are not talking about his Harvard Business Review article. Instead, we are talking about one of our innovation, customer experience, and baseball heroes, Bill Veeck. Veeck, as in wreck, was a promoter, an innovator, and a romantic. Through his journey, we’re able to see a true innovation and customer experience pioneer.

Bill Veeck created some of the most iconic experiences in Chicago baseball – he installed the ivy at Wrigley Field, as well as its classic scoreboard. He designed the exploding scoreboard at Comiskey Park and was in charge during the Sox infamous Disco Demolition Night promotion. Veeck’s promotional stunts and support of the players (from integration and support of Curt Flood’s free agency) enraged baseball’s white-collar, and frankly boring ownership, yet he engaged with and enthralled fans. Gino and I look at Veeck’s inventions through the lens of Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation to highlight innovation and engagement across an array of categories. Deep down, Gino and I believe that Veeck was the inspiration for Dos Equis most interesting man in the world. Bill was a pioneer and a free-spirit that demonstrated the importance of bringing your authentic self to work. As Veeck said “I was in the game for love. After all, where else can an old-timer with one leg, who can’t hear or see, live like a king while doing the only thing I wanted to do?”

Thanks to Gino for taking the time to join me and help explore the innovation and genius that was Bill Veeck. I hope you enjoy the episode.


Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).