Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Beta testers wanted for our new iOS app

We’re about a week away from distributing a private build of an Inkling iPhone app.

Functionality is pretty basic right now: simple trades, tracking your positions and performance numbers, listing questions and searching for them, and the leaderboard for highest worth portfolios.

We’re starting off catering to simple users with this app, then we’ll get to power users in future versions. The app will work for both our public site and any of our client sites.

Contact me directly: [email protected] if you’d like to get a beta build and give us feedback. We have the right to say no if we think you're sketchy or one of our competitors. :)

Understanding the impacts of a risk occurring

Recently, we have had several clients inquire about using Inkling to understand not only the likelihood of a risk occurring but the potential impact of that risk.

Prediction markets handle this nicely because of the flexibility you have in asking the question and also the fact they output a quantitative value to your question.

For example, we can ask:

"If risk X occurs, what will happen?"
  • Impact A
  • Impact B
  • Impact C
In this instance, the question type in Inkling would allow for multiple possible right answers so each impact can be judged individually. If the risk does not occur (the impacts cannot be assessed,) each impact would be cashed out at 0.

We can also directly correlate the occurrence of a risk (or any other event) with impacts. To do so, we simply multiply the chances of the impact and the risk to understand the likelihood the impact will occur in association with that risk.

For example, we can ask: "Will risk X occur?" and let's say the current price is $75, representing a 75% chance the risk will occur. In a separate question, we can ask "Will impact X occur if risk X occurs?" and let's say the current price is $25, representing a 25% chance the impact will occur.

Multiplying (.25 * .75) the two, we get ~.19 or a 19% chance Impact X will occur.

Assessing the impacts of risks is important for decision makers to understand as it will directly influence what they may or may not want to do to mitigate a risk. For example if the likelihood of a risk is high but only non-harmful impacts have a high probability of occurring, it may not be necessary to mitigate the risk. But if the reverse is true, mitigating that risk may take on a higher priority.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Congratulations to David Pennock, Prediction Market Extraordinaire

Just a brief note of congratulations to David Pennock who until very recently worked at Yahoo Research on all sorts of projects related to our field. He's now, along with what sounds like his entire group, part of Microsoft Research. David will be managing a new office for them in New York.

David's incredibly smart, a really nice guy, and has always been supportive of our work. We wish him the best.