You are right to question this stuff. There is a lot of bullshit out there and frankly I cringe when I see articles or statements about the “accuracy” of markets because it hurts everyone in the long run. It’s why we’ve written 3 or 4 times on our blog about what “accuracy” in a marketplace really means – that you can’t just look at 5 or 10 markets and say “we nailed it.” Unfortunately it’s something we have to deal with because the application is called a “prediction” market after all so it’s the first question that naturally comes to mind. That said I wish Chris wouldn’t make blanket statements [*] about “the vendors, e.g. Inkling Markets” getting the use cases all wrong in enterprise prediction markets. Because frankly, for quite some time “accuracy” has been a secondary argument to a number of other advantages we discuss about markets (in fact on the page on our website that describes the value proposition to companies, we don’t even list “accuracy” as a key benefit). This is also an expectation we set with our clients right from the beginning.
Anyways, I made the statement about business increasing year over year based on our own experience/numbers and as Jed mentioned, by looking at the activity of some of our competitors who have made hires, added clients, etc. I also base the statement on the types of professional services companies we are working with/hearing from and our discussions about prediction markets and what they are going to try and do in the future. I don’t think so many would be interested in adding markets to their toolset and expending resources putting together offerings if they didn’t see them as a long term, worthwhile business capability. So for those that agree with Chris that 6 years is enough time to evaluate a new business capability, I’d like to politely disagree. I could be wrong but these things haven’t been used beyond the experimental/pilot stage in companies for more than 2 or 3 years. We’re just at the cusp of understanding what benefits they’re going to bring. We’ve seen some promising trends, we’ve also seen people try to use Inkling for something and it failed miserably. This is just standard lifecycle stuff, especially for a capability that is designed, as I said in my blog post, to bring about more transparency and break down organization barriers.
[*] Adam, it was not a “-statement”-, it was a 2-choice hypothesis.
An uncertain future – A novel way of generating forecasts has yet to take off. – by The Economist – 2009-02-26
Opacity versus Openness