Thursday, September 18, 2008

My first of many blog posts

As recently announced on our blog, I recently joined Inkling as Director of Business Development. I am excited about my new position and look forward to helping the company continue to grow, with the goal of making prediction markets more of a mainstream business intelligence tool in corporate America.

My interest in prediction markets has been growing over the years. I first became aware of them from a web site that was using markets to predict changes in technology trends. In addition, like Inkling's founders Adam and Nate, I have worked for a variety of large companies and many times during my 20 year career, I was extremely frustrated when decisions were made by a select number of senior managers, without taking advantage of all the knowledge around them. In my personal experience, decisions made by senior management were often altered or even reversed when it became apparent that they were wrong; it was only then that less senior employees were consulted and their insights considered. Not the most productive way to run a company…

Not long before I was introduced to Inkling, I had the opportunity to meet James Surowiecki, the author of “Wisdom of the Crowds” at a business meeting in Miami. I am an incredibly loyal reader of Surowiecki’s New Yorker column, but I had never read his book. After, Suroweicki’s talk, I was given a signed copy of “Wisdom of the Crowds”; I read the entire book on the plane ride home to Chicago. Then, just a few months later, I met the Inkling founders and knew this was the opportunity for me.

As part of my role I am interested in getting feedback from traders regarding how to improve the Inkling platform. I know a lot of Inkling’s traders provide comments and suggestions, and I encourage you to keep sending them.

Finally, during my first weeks at Inkling, I created a number of markets on our public marketplace and am anxious to see how they turn out. Some of the markets I have created include:

I look forward to hearing from you in the future.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

New Graphs

As many have already noticed and sent us comments about, we have introduced new graphing capabilities in our markets. These graphs are much more dynamic than our previous graphs. They allow you to "grab" the graph and move it back and forth along the timeline, zoom in or out by time period, and enter a span of dates to view. We've also addressed the problem of having a gaggle of stocks on a graph by allowing you to select and de-select the specific stocks that are shown so you can easily compare stocks or remove others that are visually in the way.

What we're most excited about is the ability to plot stories from the market's RSS feed directly on the graph so you can see the potential correlation between news and trading activity. In conjunction, we've made it easy to include a Yahoo or Twitter RSS feed with any market in one click so more people hopefully take advantage of this graphing feature.

Additional graph-related widgets and exporting of images (vs. Flash) are coming soon. If you have other feedback, let us know.