Download this post to watch the video —-if your feed reader does not show it to you.
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.
Cross-posted from the Xpree blog
Previously: Are collective intelligence solutions being oversold?
One simple word:
When I first tried Pikum, last year, I spent 10 minutes looking around, trying to figure out how to use their betting website. At the 11th minute, I gave up. For good.
Sean Glass is an amazing serial entrepreneur and he’-ll hatch many successful ventures in the future. I am sure many angel investors will back him up, again. However, the takeaway from the Pikum failure is that your user interface should not be too original. Users are spending most of their time on other websites —-so, do have a user interface that resembles what is found outside.
Let’-s hope Jason Trost got that one right.
Nigel, you should set up some kind of prediction market about that at HubDub.
Via the ultra-interesting Robin Hanson —-who, for once, does not write a soporific post.
Un-Important Technical Note: The video above is dated 2008, while Robin Hanson links to a 2006 video, in his post.
Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse: