Category Archives: yahoo Thanks everyone!

Thanks to all two hundred and seventy (!) of you who attended the last Wednesday, as far as I know a record audience for an event devoted to prediction markets. [View pictures]

Thanks for spending your evening with us. Thanks for waiting patiently for the pizza and books! Thanks to the speakers (Robin, Eric, Bo, Leslie, myself, Todd, Chris, and Adam) who, after all, make or break any conference: in this case IMO definitely “make”. The speakers delivered wit and wisdom, and did it within their allotted times! It’s nice to see Google, HP, Microsoft, and Yahoo! together in one room discussing a new technology and — go figure — actually agreeing with one another for the most part. Thanks to James Surowiecki for his rousing opening remarks and for doing a fabulous job moderating the event. Thanks to the software demo providers Collective Intellect, HedgeStreet, HSX, and NewsFutures: next time we’d like to give that venue more of the attention is deserved. Thanks to Yahoo! TechDev and Yahoo! PR for planning, marketing, and executing the event. A special thanks to Chris Plasser, who orchestrated every detail from start to finish flawlessly while juggling his day job, making it all look easy in the process.

Many media outlets and bloggers attended. Nice articles appear in ZDNet and CNET, the latter of which was slashdotted yesterday. The local ABC 11 o’clock news even featured a piece on the event [see item #35 in this report]. I’m collecting additional items under MyWeb tag ‘’.

CNET and Chris Masse (on Midas Oracle) provide excellent summaries of the technical content of the event. So I’ll skip any substantive comments (for now) and instead mention a few fun moments:

  • Bo began by staring straight into the camera and giving a shoutout to Chris Masse, the eccentric Frenchman who also happens to be a sharp, tireless, and invaluable (and don’t forget bombastic) chronicler of the prediction markets field via his portal and blog.
  • Todd had the audience laughing with his story of how a prediction market laid bare the uncomfortable truth about an inevitable product delay, to the incredulousness of the product’s manager. (Todd assured us that this was a Microsoft internal product, not a consumer-facing product.)
  • I had the unlucky distinction of being the only speaker to suffer from technical difficulties in trying to present from my own Mac Powerbook instead of the provided Windows laptop. Todd later admitted that he was tempted to make a Windows/Mac quip like “Windows just works”.
  • Adam finished with an Jobsian “one more thing” announcement of their latest effort, worthio, a secret project they’ve been hacking away at nights and weekends even as they operate their startup Inkling at full speed ahead. (Yesterday Adam blogged about the confab.)

Our Yootles currency seems to have caught the public’s imagination more than any of the other various topics I covered in my own talk. (What’s wrong with you folks? You’re not endlessly fascinated with the gory mathematical details of my dynamic parimutuel market mechanism? ;-)) And so a meme is born. The lead on the Yootles project is Daniel Reeves and he is eager to answer questions and hear your feedback.

I enjoyed the confab immensely and it was great to meet so many people: thanks for the kind words from so many of you. Thanks again to the speakers, organizers, media, and attendees. I hope the event was valuable to you. Archive video of the event is available [100k|300k] for those who could not attend in person. update

Here is an update on the on prediction markets happening this Wed Dec 13 at 5:30pm at Yahoo!’s Sunnyvale headquarters, Building C, Classroom 5.

  1. We’ve added Stanford b-school professor Eric Zitzewitz as a speaker
  2. We’ll hold an ad-hoc vendor session immediately following the event, tentatively featuring Collective Intellect, HedgeStreet, HSX, Inkling Markets, NewsFutures, and RIMDEX
  3. There will be food!
  4. We’ll be giving away a limited number of copies of Surowiecki’s book The Wisdom of Crowds
  5. We’re planning to webcast the event at two connection speeds: 100k | 300k

Again, the event is free and open to the public. Hope to see you there! on prediction markets: Sunnyvale, Dec 13 5:30p

I’m happy to announce the following public event: on prediction markets: tapping the wisdom of crowds
5:30-8:00pm Wed Dec 13, 2006 (sign up on!)
Yahoo! Headquarters, Building C, Classroom 5
701 First Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94089 USA

Join us for a public “how to” session on prediction markets moderated by James Surowiecki, New Yorker columnist and best-selling author of The Wisdom of Crowds. Speakers from Google, HP, Microsoft, and Yahoo! will describe how they are using prediction markets to aid corporate forecasting and decision making. Other speakers include the developer of Zocalo, an open source prediction market platform; the co-founder of, a Paul Graham yCombinator startup; and Robin Hanson, the visionary economist and inventor whose pioneering work paved the way. The event is open to the public and will emphasize practical lessons and hands-on advice. After brief presentations from each speaker, Surowiecki will open up the session for discussion with the audience. is Yahoo! TechDev’s new open microconference series. Join academic and industry experts from across the valley and the country as they discuss the latest technologies and their applications and see for yourself what’s next on the web. Attendance is free and open to the public.