Risks pay off -sometimes. – [VIDEO]

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Peter Diamandis on risks and innovation:

Peter Diamandis:


Finally I’d like to address the issue of risk. In contrast to individuals who speak about reducing exposure to risk, I want to speak in favor of accepting more risk.

There is no question that there is risk involved in winning the X PRIZE, as well as risk in going to the moon or Mars or opening any portion of the space frontier. BUT, this is a risk worth taking!

As American many of us forget the debt we owe to early explorers. Tens-of- thousands of people risked their lives to open the &#8216-new world&#8217- or the American west. Thousands lost their lives and we are here today as a result of their courage.

Space is a frontier and frontiers are risky! As explorers and as Americans, we must have the right to take risks that we believe are worthwhile and significant. We owe it to ourselves and future generations. In a time when people are risking their lives in motor sports or bungee jumping, it seems a bit shallow to be concerned about the risk involved exploring space.

It is also critical that we take risk in our technology development and that we allow for failure. Without risk and without room for failure we can not have the very breakthroughs we so desperately need.

A breakthrough, by definition, is something that was considered a &#8220-crazy idea&#8221- the day before it became a breakthrough. If it wasn’t considered a crazy idea, then it really isn’t a breakthrough, is it? It would have simply been an incremental improvement.

Remember those immortal words, &#8220-Failure is not an option?&#8221- If we live and work in an environment where we cannot fail, than breakthroughs may not be an option either.

I urge both this Committee and NASA to take steps which will help the American people understand that space exploration is intrinsically risky, yet a risk worth taking. Let&#8217-s make space explorers heroes once again.

Prediction markets are already on the iPad via Safari (Apples web browser). Native apps to come? – [VIDEO]

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PC Mag reviews the iPad:

WSJ&#8216-s Walt Mossberg is very positive (&#8220-IT IS *NOT* A BIG IPHONE&#8221-, &#8220-IT IS A ROBUST GENERAL-PURPOSE COMPUTER&#8221-):

Download this post to watch the 2 videos if your feed reader does not show them to you.

ABC reviews the iPad.

Wired reviews the iPad.

Mike Arrington&#8217-s review of the iPad.

Apple videos of the iPad.


Multi-tasking&#8230- soon.




Using iPad without a computer.

No Flash. Bye bye Flash. More.

Web apps versus native apps.

iPad, not a real computer.

More on TechMeme.

Enterprise prediction markets: Usability innovation is the answer.

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This past week, The Economist wrote on the yet-unfulfilled promise of prediction markets. At CrowdCast (ex-Xpree), we believe prediction markets are not yet mainstream because the current solutions are built on mechanisms designed for the stock market, not for the enterprise.

The stock trading metaphor works for a large, liquid stock market, but is unsuitable for enterprise forecasting. The concept of shorting and covered calls is far from intuitive for your average employee, and the stock mechanism makes it hard to ask the simplest of questions relevant for corporate forecasters. For example, buying or selling a collection of virtual stocks representing probabilities of sales falling in particular ranges is an incredibly obtuse way of asking for a single sales forecast. Finally, the stock mechanism relies on copious liquidity to ensure meaningful metrics, which is often not available with the limited crowds available in the enterprise.

However, innovation moves on and we question the assumption that prediction markets have to rely on the stock market analogy. At CrowdCast, we have been working on a new mechanism, that takes into account participant behavior and aptitude as much as market efficiency. The product we are launching in April will deliver easy, engaging, and expressive information exchanges, without the limitations of traditional notions of stock markets.

When you get the questions, incentives, and mechanism right, a prediction market can be an incredibly powerful management tool. Employees share insights anonymously and are measured and rewarded for their intelligence. Widely deployed, this has the potential to fundamentally change the nature of the organizational contract, moving from information flow based on hierarchy and silos, to enterprise-wide direct communication.

A whole new take on prediction markets- available from CrowdCast in April 2009.

Mat Fogarty

CrowdCast CEO

Cross-posted from the Xpree blog

Previously: Are collective intelligence solutions being oversold?