Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Inkling Ahead of the Media on Lebron's NBA Finals Performance says the New York Times

Ironically Nate and myself are in Madison, Wisconsin for a meeting today. An article to appear in tomorrow's New York Times (6/27/07) but already online discusses the upcoming NBA Draft and talks in detail about Alando Tucker, the star University of Wisconsin guard looking to get drafted.

Anyway, more importantly (to us anyway :) the article also says that NBA teams should start to take notice of the power of prediction markets. Specifically the article mentions ProTrade and Inkling as two marketplaces whose predictions might be very interesting to NBA executives.

Re: Inkling, the article mentions the Lebron market on whether he will score 40 points in the NBA finals:

Take Inkling Markets. The company opened a user-driven website that allows people to set up their own markets online. The chief executive officer, Adam Siegel, pointed to a market off the site as an example of the power of casual fans.

The market was on whether Lebron James would score 40 points in the finals. While the media was embracing LeBron for his 48-point outburst against the Pistons in the Eastern Conference finals, fans on the site were betting against him having a repeat performance. Siegel pointed to this market as an example of a time when the average fan, and consequently the market, was out in front of the news cycle.

Indeed, as soon as the market started, the price never went above 50 and tracked steadily downward as the series wore on. Even when the series shifted to Cleveland and the media predicted a "breakout" game from the Cavs and Lebron, the market only upticked slightly but continued its downward trend overall. Good job, crowd.

Inkling No. 2 Trader and our Public Marketplace Featured in Associated Press Article

Good "generalist" article recently about prediction markets written by the AP and picked up by a few news publications. We were happy to see a couple quotes from Mike Giberson, the Inkling No. 2 trader! See - doing well in our public marketplace not only gets you lots of Inkles, it may make you famous! :)

International Herald Tribune Article

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Lost Glory: $5 Million Cray Y-MP Supercomputer Is Now Baby Furniture

Taking a moment away from prediction markets, we wanted to call attention to some dear friends of ours who were recently featured in Pam and Paul Costa who live in Silicon Valley recently had a baby named Edison. Paul is a computer engineer and apparently picked up a Cray Y-MP Supercomputer at a YARD SALE and turned it in to baby room furniture.

Knowing Paul and Pam they will be pleased by whatever little Edison decides to do with his life. But we can't help imagine 2 beaming parents 18 years down the road when the kid tells them he's going to major in computer science or mechanical engineering. :)

Pictures of the room are here

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Inkling is Hiring

Demand for our services is growing quickly and we are doing some hiring. Here’s what we’re looking for right now:

Senior Rails Developer
Do you come home at night and work on your own Rails projects? Have you contributed back to the Rails community? Are you a strong believer in Agile development practices? Is your risk/reward profile above the level of a career accountant? Do you actually bother to write test scripts for your code? Do you obsess as much about the UI design of your app as the backend and stay up until 4am so you go to bed knowing it’s right? If you’re in the affirmative with these questions, you may be a good fit for us. But just in case you like it boiled down to some bullet points, the following are some specifics:

  • +3 years of web development experience;
  • Proficient with a SQL query;
  • Greater than 1 year of Rails experience on a public facing Rails app, or widely used internal app;
  • Experience with Rail's deployment mechanism (Capistrano), caching, and restful resources;
  • Proficient skills with HTML and Javascript, especially Ajax and using Prototype/Scriptaculous;
  • Obsessed with unit/functional/integration testing;
  • Comfortable with an Apache config file. No need for a Ninja, but you might have to update one every once in awhile, same with MySQL admin;
  • Comfortable with Unix;
  • Good communication skills; we’re small and you’ll be asked to represent the company with more than just working code;
  • Good writing skills (see above);
  • Problem solver who presents possible answers (or a well formed question) vs. “I have no clue”

If you’re interested in applying, send a note to [email protected] telling us why you think you’d be good for the job. Please also attach your resume in PDF format. Make sure either your note or your resume lists stuff you’ve built/had a heavy contribution in.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Media Predict makes an appearance on NPR's Future Tense

The popular NPR program Future Tense has coverage of Inkling client Media Predict and briefly interviews Brent Stinski, head of Media Predict.

One interesting question thrown Brent's way relates to the "masses" simply picking middle of the road "mush" in trying to predict a television show, movie, or book's success vs. a diverse swath of entertaining material. His response is interesting (and right in our humble opinion.)

real audio - mp3 - itunes

yCombinator profiled in Newsweek

Inkling's sole investors yCombinator were recently profiled in Newsweek under the heading "A Boot Camp for the Next Tech Billionaires."

We're not sure how many of us (if any) will become billionaires but we suppose we can tack it on to our other more modest goals of continuing to improve our trading interface and working with interesting people. :)

Here's the article:

We've had lots of people contact us about our experience with yCombinator; we're more than happy to talk about it with folks; our decision process to apply and accept, how we quit our jobs, etc. so just contact us if you want to chat about it.