This morning I woke up at 2:45 a.m. local time to partake in the 14th annual dynasty fantasy football draft in The Crew Fantasy Football League with nine of my best friends.

It was 8 p.m. local time for them, but I wouldn't miss this thing. I've build a dynasty team that has competed for the championship year-after-year, and just missed winning it all last year, coming down to a "last minute" drive by the Houston Texans in Week 16 where DeAndre Hopkins caught five or six balls including a TD in the second half to beat me.

Each draft day, including this year, I tell my buddy Scott Lockhart that I feel like a little kid on Christmas morning.

This is because of what it feels like to build a team. Identifying strengths and weaknesses, then analyzing talent to fill in the gaps. And after the starting line-up is full, you've gotta make sure you have depth.

This year's draft reminded me of how I've built my company, Data Driven Design.

I felt strong everywhere heading into the draft, but felt the need to play even more offense.

I "hoarded" QBs / quarterbacks, drafting both Matt Ryan AND Dak Prescott after already having Marcus Mariota AND Carson Wentz.

Hoarding quarterbacks is kind of like making sure Data Driven Design has leaders everywhere, and players who can score - put the ball in the end zone, baby.

I also went deep at Running Back, grabbing two of the top four rookie RBs - again, players who can handle the ball on every plan if necessary, and most importantly, score - put points on the board.

I'm assuming I don't have to explain the sports analogies within business of "playing offense," "having depth," "players ready to be put in the game at any time in case of injury, etc," and players who "can score at any moment."

This is how I've attempted to build Data Driven Design.

Ironically, one of the main reasons I started Data Driven Design was because I didn't want to be part of a team. I didn't want to build a team; I wanted to do the work. I wanted to grind it out on my own, similar to how I did from 2006-2011 when I built, a dynasty fantasy football website that sold a premium online membership product and advertising space and content partnerships.

Man, less than five months in, I changed my mind on that and realized I had to bring on quality talent in order to win championships. Best decision I ever made.

As exhilarating as Fantasy Football Draft Day is, there's nothing more exciting than doing it in real life, with a real team of All-Star Players.

We're going to keep playing offense, and keep hoarding QBs.

Let's go.

Hit me up with any questions anytime at

Thanks for reading, watching and listening, and have a great day!


Paul Hickey, Founder / CEO / Lead Strategist at Data Driven Design, LLC has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 10 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing and Email Marketing. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.

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