FanDuel (by HubDub) is launched exclusively thru TechCrunch UK, which is, of course, upbeat on its future. Heres a more critical take.

No Gravatar

HubDub is a huge success in term of Internet popularity (pageviews, time spent on the site, etc.). However, HubDub has no business model, other than trying to get bought up by some bigger fish. Which is why Nigel Eccles and his smart team have devised a social fantasy sport game, FanDuel. Its business model (allowed under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006) is simple: you pay to play. &#8211-&gt- $$$

The problem with FanDuel&#8216-s simple business model (selling social gaming services over the Internet) is that, unlike HubDub (which is free to play), there won&#8217-t be free publicity generated on the Web &#8212-other than the TechCrunch UK post. Just because you have a business model does not mean that you have a marketing strategy.

The best marketing strategy you can have on the Internet is a dual one:

  1. Give away content, software, or means for people to connect with each other
  2. Sell something else (to the same people or to other people).

Since FanDuel won&#8217-t be free, it won&#8217-t generate any buzz on the Web. [UPDATE: See Nigel Eccles’s comment, just below.]

Nigel Eccles is proud of the fact that his team crafted FanDuel in a matter of weeks. But have they thought long enough about marketing strategy?


The FanDuel press release:


New Fantasy Sports Game Lets You Play Today, Win Today

There are at least 20 million of us playing fantasy sports every year and yet in recent years it has seen very little innovation. For many, one of the major problems with fantasy sports is the huge time-commitment involved &#8211- when you play fantasy, you have to play for the whole season – no breaks, no holidays, no excuses. However, in this era of Facebook and Twitter, people want instant gratification.

This issue is tackled head on by, a new fantasy sports game which launches today. lets us play and win in a day instead of waiting the whole season. Players can draft a new team at any time, and pitch it head-to-head against an opponent – a friend, or another FanDuel player – for real money. The player whose team has the most fantasy points at the end of the day’s games wins the cash prize. It’s purely fantasy baseball right now, but the fantasy football game will launch with the start of the football season.

Clever integration with sites like Facebook means that picking opponents is slick, as is bragging about your wins. This is a first for the fantasy sports industry which has been dominated by the big players such as Yahoo, CBS and ESPN for too long.

The game is a competitive draft rather than salary cap – making it much more challenging. However unlike traditional competitive draft both players don’t have to draft at the same time. The way it works is one player drafts their first pick and a back-up for each position. They then order their draft and submit their roster. When they are matched with another user (a friend or another FanDuel user) the system works through each player’s draft in priority order. You get an email telling you and your opponent’s final roster and then you can watch the live stats on both fantasy teams update in real-time as the games progress.

Online social gaming is already well developed but the daily fantasy sports market is quite new. Nigel Eccles, CEO of the company behind FanDuel, admits, “After playing Mafia Wars and other social games on Facebook, going back to playing traditional fantasy sports on CBS felt like going back in time. We felt we could build something faster, more social and exciting.”

Thanks to the fantasy sports carve out of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gaming Act [Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006], is perfectly legal to play in the US – something that the team behind FanDuel have been very careful to adhere to. FanDuel offers free and paid entry games with users able to enter $5, $10 and $25 competitions.

Please, be my friend on FaceBook.

No Gravatar

Our good friend George Tziralis has 505 friends on FaceBook.

Our good friend Mike Linksvayer has 762.

I have only 61.

I feel ridiculous. I am sure people laugh at me in my back about that low number. I need to have at least 100 friends. Help me.

P.S.: I have been focusing more on my LinkedIn network. See the sidebar for all our PM networking links.

eLab eXchange – Will Twitter Rule the World?

No Gravatar

Will Twitter Rule the World?

Rising along side of the social networking revolution, Twitter, the short message and microblogging service, has become nearly as popular as social network sites like Facebook. With China blocking Twitter on the anniversary of Tienanmen Square, and Time magazine publishing a &#8220-how-to,&#8221- it&#8217-s fair to say that Twitter is now a global mainstream phenomenon.

Join us at the eLab eXchange and judge which ideas have the greatest potential for using Twitter as global a marketing tool.

Share This:


No Gravatar

If US laws were gambling compatible, would a FaceBook betting application solve the chicken-and-egg problem that any brand-new prediction exchange is facing? (Short sellers will come to the exchange only if there are enough backers, who will come only if there is enough liquidity, etc.) Could MySpace, FaceBook and LinkedIn (who have registered people by the millions, already) provide a starting launch for future prediction exchanges?

YooPick for FaceBook

YooPick @ FaceBook

PS: Yet another hit for Robin Hanson&#8217-s MSR. :-D

FACEBOOK AND LINKEDIN: How to deal with unwanted friend requests, the ethics of de-friending, and other social networking etiquette predicaments.

No Gravatar

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Midas Oracle is only 6 times smaller than Fred Wilson’s blog, “A VC”.
  • The best blogs on prediction markets
  • The New Republic profiles the next Vice President of the United States of America —Jim Webb, maybe.
  • No Trades (other than at the start) —-> Not a reliable predictor, as of today
  • How you should read Midas Oracle
  • The best prediction exchanges
  • “There will be no media consumption left in ten years that is not delivered over an IP network. There will be no newspapers, no magazines that are delivered in paper form. Everything gets delivered in an electronic form.”

LinkedIn vs. FaceBook prediction market

No Gravatar

Read and Write Web:

[…] However I am interested in prediction markets, so how about we define a specific prediction and then revisit it in six months? If Facebook and/or LinkedIn were public companies, we could test our predictive powers in the stock market with real money. However because they are private companies (for now), we can just do this for fun and bragging rights. Anyway public companies are now all boring, predictable enterprises- we have to recreate the fun in the private markets.

So the prediction, we think, from Stowe is this: “In 6 months Facebook will have more of your business contacts than LinkedIn”. We&#8217-ll check back in 6 months whether that prediction comes true. […]

Their poll shows that LinkedIn has the lead over FaceBook (this early Monday morning):

LinkedIn vs. FaceBook

Maybe PopSci PPX will be interested in floating a LinkedIn vs. FaceBook event derivative. I suspect that they would like to settle such an event derivative with objective, primary data &#8212-as opposed to an online poll.

UPDATE: Latest results of the poll&#8230-

LinkedIn vs. FaceBook

REMINDER: Midas Oracle is going to make an important announcement, soon.