Before I post my next Prediction Markets case study, I thought I’d offer an overview of this blog, its objective, and its author.

WHO I AM:
I’m a Marketing professional who got hooked on Prediction Markets (and the Wisdom of Crowds) in late 2005 while working for Best Buy Co.
  • I spent 3+ years studying, testing, deploying, and evangelizing internal Prediction Markets within Best Buy (in partnership with my boss, Jeff Severts, who initiated the original WOC experiments at BBY).
  • We were fortunate to have our work featured in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, as well as Gary Hamel’s book The Future of Management.
In addition to my endeavors in Enterprise Prediction Markets, I have 15 years experience in Marketing and general business management. To me, it’s been a career of cool roles, teams, and projects:
  • Led new service development team for The Geek Squad
  • Co-led overhaul of Best Buy’s extended service plan program
  • Co-developed initial customer/marketing strategy for Best Buy China.
  • Developed sponsorship sales marketing collateral for NBA franchise.
  • Led internal Marketing/Promotion/Creative team for Fox Television affiliates in Florida.
  • Co-developed integrated multi-media advertising vehicle for television station in 1998.
  • Initially trained in television station general management, including advertising sales, news production, marketing, and programming.
I have an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA from Princeton University. That’s not necessarily relevant to this blog, except for the following: Columbia educated me as a business generalist; Princeton taught me how to think critically and write effectively.
WHAT THIS BLOG IS ABOUT:
Taking a ‘What If’ approach, I’m offering up hypothetical case studies of prediction markets addressing current business problems. In other words, how might things be different if internal markets were more widely utilized?

Material will be ripped from the headlines, focusing on current events in the world of business, government, and/or social enterprise.

The objectives of this approach are twofold:
  • Build awareness and interest in prediction markets among a broader set of business leaders
  • Make more tangible/relatable an otherwise theoretical management concept.
As such, it is not my current intention to make this a general Prediction Markets blog, but rather a very specific and hopefully unique one. There are plenty of intelligent and experienced subject matter experts from the world of economics, technology, law, and finance who can (or already do) blog/publish on other aspects of Prediction Markets. I’d rather expand the digital conversation than just echo it.

WHY I AM BLOGGING ABOUT PREDICTION MARKETS:
To start, I have the passion. I believe there’s a gold mine of untapped collective intelligence inside most organizations.
  • I am fascinated by the way in which web 2.0 technologies are democratizing organizational decision making and turning old management orthodoxies on their head.
  • Accordingly, I don’t believe that Prediction Markets (or other CI vehicles) are a fit for every enterprise. My experience at Best Buy convinced me that corporate culture and management philosophy play a significant role. We had the right environment.
  • Though I’m mostly writing about internal markets, I strongly believe that an integrated suite of web 2.0 vehicles can truly transform an organization’s decision intelligence, employee engagement, innovation, and productivity. I don’t know of a company that’s farther along in this transformation than Best Buy (but if there are others, I’d love to hear about it.).
Finally, I think there is a need in the marketplace. While the number of voices in the Prediction Markets camp is growing, I don’t believe there are enough people talking publicly and consistently about enterprise applications. While this is happening in private conversations between service providers and potential customers, I’d like to invite a broader constituency to the discussion.

WHOM I HOPE TO REACH WITH THIS BLOG:
That brings me to my intended audience.
  • This blog is not geared toward the existing Prediction Market intelligentsia. While I would be honored to have fellow enthusiasts read and critique this blog, I’m not writing this for them, specifically.
  • I’m writing for a general business audience, decision makers in particular. The discussion will be geared toward people who may have never heard of Prediction Markets, may be minimally aware and curious, may be knowledgeable but still skeptical, or who may be interested but need help engaging others within their organization.
Thanks for your interest in this topic and this blog.
– dkeller 7.2.09


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