Max Shapiro | Youngest NBA Scout in History, How Tech is Disrupting the Labor Force


Becoming a waterboy for an NBA team would be a great experience for a lot of kids.

For Max Shapiro, it eventually turned into a career as an NBA scout.

Max Shapiro is the Founder of PeopleConnect Staffing, which helps early-stage tech companies to find quality talent. Max is also the founder of Pitch Force, a weekly event in San Francisco and Silicon Valley that gives startup founders and CEOs a platform to network with panels of venture capitalists and angel investors. Max also has the distinction of being the youngest talent scout in the history of the NBA and chief scout for the Phoenix Suns.

In this episode, John Corcoran is joined by Max Shapiro to talk about meeting legendary sports personalities, starting a staffing business during an economic downturn, and the experience of being the youngest scout for the NBA.

In this episode, we also talk about:

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  • How Max Came to Become an NBA Scout
  • The Metrics and Techniques Used to Scout Talent
  • Max’s Experience Running His Youth Sports Camps
  • What it was like for Max to Meet Legendary Sports Personalities
  • Similarities Between Recruiting for Tech Companies and the NBA
  • Working for a Company that Exported Levis Jeans
  • Starting a Staffing Business in the Middle of the Dot Com Crisis
  • Many Companies are Hiring Staff from Outside the US
  • Accounting for Bias in the Hiring Process
  • Will AI disrupt the Market?
  • Who Max Thanks for His Success

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

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Episode Transcript

John Corcoran  0:40  

Alright welcome everyone. My guest on the show is Max Shapiro’s the founder of People Connect staffing, which is a company that he founded in the year 2000. To help early stage tech companies to find talent. They’ve got clients in all kinds of different industries including technology of course biotech, clean tech CBD apps services. So we’re going to talk about that we’re gonna talk about the labor market today is also the founder of pitch force, which is a weekly event in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, which gives startup founders and CEOs a platform to network with panels of VCs and angel investors. And this is really interesting. He was the youngest talent scout in the history of the NBA and chief scout for the Phoenix Suns. So we’re going to talk about the similarities between tech and recruiting for NBA teams and NBA players. But first, if you’re new to this show, take a moment and think about it. You know, when you think about the most important factors in your career, so far, I’m going to guess you really distill it down. It’s really about the relationships and the relationships that make all the difference in all of our careers. And this Pat podcast is about talking to top business leaders, CEOs, founders, experts, and asking them to break down how they built their businesses and really the key relationships with clients, mentors, peers, referral partners, influencers, those things that are the backbone of any business and to share with you how you can do it to how you can develop those relationships and how you can grow your business. So if you find value in all of that, please subscribe so that you get the downloads automatically and you can use these tools to keep growing your business and also before we get to this interview This podcast is brought to you by Rise25 media which is our done for you company focused on helping b2b businesses to get more clients referral partners and strategic partners through done for you podcasts and done few content marketing. We’ve got over 20 years experience in this area. And I was just saying the max beforehand. This is really the this is the perk of my job is that every week I get to talk to smart people like him, and I get to ask them questions that I’m curious about and I just really enjoy doing it. And the podcast really is so many things in one it’s business development, networking, client acquisition, referral, marketing, and more. I encourage I’ve been saying it for the duration of the nine years I’ve been podcasting. Everyone should have one because everyone should benefit from it. And so if you’re interested in learning more, you can go to Rise25.com. Alright. And as I mentioned, my guest is Max Shapiro. Now Max, you were telling me beforehand, you were the youngest talent scout and they hit Through the NBA, and and yet you didn’t have years of experience in the NBA as a player or anything like that you played some college ball. How did you end up becoming a talent scout in the NBA?

Max Shapiro  3:12  

Well, john, when I was 12 years old and about six foot three, and love basketball, an NBA team moved to my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. from Milwaukee, they were called the Milwaukee hawks, they became the St. Louis hawks, and they actually won the NBA championship in 1957 58. The team subsequently moved on to Atlanta. But when I was 12, they were just they just moved to town and I picked up the phone and asked the coach if I could be the water boy and he said, Come down for an interview and I was the only applicant and I got it and at the end of the interview, he said, Son, you understand you just be working for prestige. Is that okay? And I said, Yes, sir. He said, You know what that word means is No, sir. Get Paid. So, you know, I was not thinking about money and now it was a great job because I was able to it was in junior high school. I was able to ask my friends Hey Steve Hey Joe a bill you want to come help me hand out towels and water for the Hawks or the visiting team like the Celtics or the Knicks or the the Warriors or the pistons.

John Corcoran  4:11  

Wow. And so, it you know, you moved into that into becoming a talent scout, right? You said a friend of yours that had been it was working with the San Diego basketball team at the time.

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