Monthly Archives: September 2007

Enterprise 3.0: new representations, new markets

DiamondExchangeLater this week, NewsFutures will have another great opportunity to introduce prediction markets into the consciousness of mighty American businessmen and women.

At the invitation of the organizers of the September 2007 DiamondExchange event, CEO Emile Servan-Schreiber will take part in a panel discussion on “technologies to raise your organization’s IQ” led by Chunka Mui, author of Unleashing the Killer App. The exclusive event features an outstanding list of speakers including Marvin Zonis, professor emeritus of the University of Chicago, Dan Bricklin, inventor of VisiCalc, Cory Ondrejka, who leads the team developing Second Life, and Ray Kurtzweil, who needs no introduction a all.

The event, titled “Enterprise 3.0: new representations, new markets”, is organized by the high-powered consulting firm Diamond (Nasdaq: DTPI). It’s nice to see that, having preceded the “Web 2.0” bubble, prediction markets are already moving past it and being associated with the number 3…

The GreenbrierThe event will be held at the famous Greenbrier, in White Sulfur Springs, WV, whose tag line is “defining luxury since 1778” ! Needless to say, we look forward to this fantastic opportunity to discuss and explore the virtues of prediction markets with this particular crowd.


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Introducing Bet2Give : the thrill of betting, the power of giving

bet2give logo

This week we released a totally new breed of prediction market, a “mash up” between online betting and online giving.

It’s a simple idea: What if, rather than being reviled as a source of evil, the natural urge to bet on the future could be leveraged to help improve the future? What if you could win more than money?

bet2give, located at, is a real-money prediction market where you grow your account with investments in smart predictions about the future, then give your winnings away to non-profit organizations of your choice. Topics cover sports, finance, politics, the war on terror, Iraq, and various current events in between.

Because participants cannot profit financially or materially from their successful bets – all the money won or lost eventually goes to non-profit organizations – bet2give is obviously not a “gambling” venue. The value proposition is something else altogether:

Since you’re betting directly against other people, you are effectively competing to divert their funds to your favorite causes — and they’re trying, of course, to do the same thing unto you. On bet2give, those who are best at predicting the future also get to decide how to improve the future, one donation at a time.

By combining the thrill of betting and the reward of giving, bet2give delivers a unique and powerful emotional experience. It makes betting feel right and it makes giving more fun. There is real synergy there!

At the time of this writing, there’s already more than $1,100 in play, all of which will eventually be donated to various causes chosen by the players when they feel ready to give. And a couple donations too: $20 to the Food Bank of Western New York, and $20 to the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. It will be interesting to watch what sorts of causes the players will champion.

However, rather than competing with existing channels of online giving, we are betting that bet2give will contribute to enlarge the online fundraising plate for all sorts of worthy causes that people believe in, all the while providing great entertainment and valuable collective predictions backed up by real money.

Again, the bet2give prediction market is located at

Will you join us in exploring this totally new territory at the frontier of betting and giving?

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UC Riverside’s eLab eXchange : featuring Competitive Forecasting and Idea Pageants

UC Riverside’s Sloan Center for Internet Retailing has just launched their eLab eXchange, a website for gathering collective predictions about marketing in the digital world. The New York Times had a nice write up about it yesterday.

The eLab eXchange features two of NewsFutures knowledge aggregation mechanisms of which there are precious few public examples: Competitive Forecasting and Idea Pageants. So, if you’re curious about what they look and feel like, just take a look at the eLab eXchange…

eLab eXchange Header

NewsFutures invented and refined those techniques over the years as simpler/better-fit alternatives to prediction markets for some enterprise problems and contexts. When people don’t have an intuitive feel for “trading”, or have serious time constraints (eg, senior execs), it’s important to provide tools that are easy to use and don’t require any training… Nowadays, we find that most companies we work for naturally choose to use one of these alternative mechanisms for gathering the wisdom of their crowd. These approaches fit the customer’s problem tightly so we don’t have to fit the customer’s problem to a generic prediction market approach.

Competitive forecasting is specialized for extracting range forecasts for business variables, like sales, prices, market share, etc, while Idea Pageants are designed especially for the task of quickly identifying the best new ideas in a very large pool. For instance, the New York Times article cited above mentions two of NewsFutures other clients: Arcelor Mittal is a long-time user of Competitive Forecasting, while InterContinental Hotels Group relies on an Idea Pageant to vet new business ideas.

Importantly, both of these approaches stay true to what NewsFutures believes should be the two pillars of any reality-based knowledge aggregation mechanism: reward people for (a) being right, (b) before others.

We look forward to your questions and comments about these approaches, which you can now get your hands on at UC Riverside’s eLab eXchange.

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