Whispering softly to Backchannel's Steven Levy, Ballmer said that there was no hiding in sports. How well you're doing is all entirely transparent, and there's no way to talk yourself out of a jam, or confuse yourself.
“It's hardcore -- you either win or you lose. Your season's over, or it's not over. It's just binary. It is the highest accountability thing in the world. In basketball, every human on the planet can evaluate your performance.
"All the analytics are available. Everybody can watch all your games or write about it -- the columnist knows absolutely everything that the general manager knows. Everything. Your individual human performance can get reviewed in a way that never happens in business. And every 24 seconds, I can tell you how good our teamwork is. That's high accountability," he mumbled.
Of course, that does mean that the IT industry would have to pay huge amounts of money to attract talent and accord godlike status to people who otherwise would not have a life outside a police line-up.