Cultivate Labs Blog

Discussing how crowd forecasting, internal crowdfunding, and other new workplace trends can be used to improve the #futureofwork

By Adam Siegel on Jun 12, 2017

A Board's Check on its CEO - The Smell Test for Self-Interest vs. Leadership

Recently on a Sunday during my weekly 2 hour break from all things family related, I sat at one of my favorite coffee houses and read the Sunday New York Times. An article in the Business section particularly caught my attention: The Trump Effect on CEO Pay, and it got me thinking: should a Board of Directors have a better check on their CEO than either termination or bonuses tied to stock price? Could there be something put in place better for the company's long-term prospects?

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By Brian Leslie on Jun 12, 2017

Determining the Accuracy of Prediction Markets

So, you asked a prediction market question, and the outcome is now known. The question has been resolved and winnings have been disbursed to the forecasters who held winning positions. Forecasters know how well they did based upon their profits in the question, and you know who your good forecasters were too. But how accurate was your organization at answering the question itself? There are several things to consider when thinking about accuracy of the prediction market:

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By Adam Siegel on May 09, 2017

Attempted Manipulation of our French Election Prediction Market: Here's What We Learned

It may be easier to manipulate a real-money market than a play-money market. In a play-money market, the dumb-money can always be defeated with smart money and a little vigilance.

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By Cultivate Labs on Apr 18, 2017

Multinational Energy Company Uses Crowdsourcing to Predict Impacting Factors of Oil & Gas Prices

A multinational energy company uses Cultivate Forecasts predict economic and geopolitical events that impact oil and gas prices. We find out why they decided to incorporate internal crowdsourcing within their business and how they have been so successful at engaging employee participation.

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By Adam Siegel on Feb 28, 2017

Have your team predict your KPI's in real-time so you can actually meet your KPI's

As a small bootstrapped company, we're constantly worrying about our next stage of growth. And of course start up orthodoxy says any size business should have a few key performance metrics they track to be aware of how you're doing in the things that influence revenue, profit, and the culture you want to cultivate. But as we've learned, it's not enough to just track your KPI's, you need to forecast how you're going to do on them weeks and months ahead of time.

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By Adam Siegel on Feb 16, 2017

Prendid - A Dutch Election Voorspellingsmarkt (Prediction Market)

With an election coming next month in the Netherlands, Marco van Schaardenburgh has successfully launched Prendid, a “voorspellingsmarkt” (prediction market) where players are predicting the outcome of the parliamentary elections. Joining is free and available to anyone globally.

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By Adam Siegel on Feb 15, 2017

Testing Crowdsourced Decision Making at Broadspectrum

Broadspectrum, whose parent organization is Ferrovial, is an Australian company that operates in the Defence, Property, Social, Infrastructure, Resources and Industrial sectors, and provide Logistics, Facilities Management, Consulting, Construction, Care, Welfare, Operations, Maintenance, Well Servicing, and Business Support services. We recently completed a pilot project in their Defence line of business...

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By Jess Price on Feb 07, 2017

Cultivate Community February 2017 Newsletter 

Our February 2017 newsletter is out: Take a look!

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By Vanessa Pineda on Nov 22, 2016

How Trump Stumped the Prediction Markets

Why the prediction markets signaled the wrong result for the Presidential election.

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By Adam Siegel on Apr 25, 2016

Disrupting Product Development Using Internal Crowdsourcing

Using crowdsourcing only at the front-stages of the product development cycle means organizations are missing out on a big opportunity to further tap the wisdom and knowledge of the organization. Here's how you can use internal crowdsourcing across your entire development lifecycle.

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By Adam Siegel on Jan 11, 2016

Uber's Costly Fail in Germany is Symptomatic of an Age-Old Problem in Big Companies

It is incredible that a company of Uber's size, with the experience they have entering new markets is still having the kinds of colossal failures they are having in Germany. But Uber is certainly not alone in costly missteps like this and billions are being lost every year. Yet a solution already exists: your employees.

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By Ben Golden on Jan 08, 2016

Bayesian Reasoning and Prediction Markets

I enjoyed John Horgan's piece on Bayes Theorem for Scientific American. Bayes Theorem and Bayesian reasoning are highly applicable when thinking about forecasting and prediction markets; indeed, one prediction market built a Bayes Net into its platform. In this post I'll explain what Bayesian reasoning is, why it matters to prediction markets, and give a concrete (but semi-fictitious) example of how it's applied.

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By Ben Golden on Dec 16, 2015

What Is Liquidity And How Does It Affect Prediction Markets?

Our sites use a popular prediction market algorithm called LMSR to determine how markets adjust when someone makes a forecast, and how user scores are affected by making correct and incorrect forecasts.

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By Ben Golden on Dec 09, 2015

Forecasting Hard Questions

I've been trying to pick NFL game winners. I'm not using any complex analytical model; rather, I'm making decisions the way most sports bettors do--I watch some games, read the news, and use my judgment. I make each of my picks on SportsCast, which allows me to track my performance, interact with other forecasters, and track the performance of the prediction market--that is, the collective performance of all the forecasters on SportsCast.

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By Ben Roesch on Dec 08, 2015

Measuring Accuracy in Prediction Markets and Opinion Poll/Pools

One of the first and most important questions we get from clients, forecasters, and consumers of our data is: “How accurate are these forecasts?”. In order to answer this question, we have utilized and built upon a widely accepted proper scoring rule, i.e. a way to measure accuracy for a probabilistic forecast.

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By Ben Golden on Dec 04, 2015

Getting Started With Prediction Markets

Joining a prediction market can be confusing and anxiety-inducing. It's easy to be overwhelmed by all the questions, to not understand the forecasting interface, or to have trouble forming opinions to base forecasts on. All of this is pretty natural--as a now-experienced forecaster, I can remember these feelings the first time I joined a prediction market. In this post I'll address a few specific emotional barriers that make it difficult to start forecasting.

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By Ben Golden on Nov 23, 2015

Demystifying Unicorns Through Prediction Markets

On a recent podcast, Jack Schultz and I discussed two razor companies that are poised to become unicorn companies. Unicorns--startups that grow to billion-dollar valuations while remaining private--are somewhat mysterious and the subject of continuous speculation.

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By Cultivate Labs on Nov 19, 2015

Prediction Markets -- Beginner to Intermediate

Wikipedia’s intro paragraph for prediction markets is the following:Prediction markets (also known as predictive markets, information markets, decision markets, idea futures, event derivatives, or virtual markets) are exchange-traded markets created for the purpose of trading the outcome of events.

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By Ben Golden on Nov 16, 2015

Predict Daily Fantasy Football Leaders on SportsCast

One use of prediction markets I've been really excited about is forecasting individual players' performances in major sports. These predictions are incredibly useful when playing fantasy sports--both daily fantasy and season-long leagues--and the forecasts that currently exist tend to be, in my experience, pretty mediocre. Prediction markets present an opportunity for the wisdom of the crowds to intervene, and will likely lead to more accurate forecasts.

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By Ben Golden on Oct 13, 2015

Prediction Markets In A World Hostile To Gambling

Two key take-aways from the emerging scandal surrounding Daily Fantasy sites: one, gambling data can be extremely valuable, and two: the only thing Americans love more than gambling is hating on gambling. Taken together, these findings illustrate why large-scale prediction markets present a path towards improving human knowledge in a wide range of topics.

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By Jess Price on Oct 06, 2015

VC's should be doing this

Amongst the leadership teams of the portfolio companies at any medium to large investment firm, there is an incredible amount of experience, wisdom, and perspective that is not collectively being taken advantage of.

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By Ben Golden on Oct 05, 2015

Your Competitors Are Predictable

We recently started working with a Houston-based client in the Energy sector, who wanted to use a prediction market to help with internal operations, and to create greater transparency and communication within their company. We spent a couple months meeting with our client to learn about their business and objectives, and using test questions (e.g. asking about Houston sports teams) to help participants understand how prediction markets work. Our initial questions focused on specific operations

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By Vanessa Pineda on Oct 05, 2015

There's No Driving With a Dead Engine:  The Importance of Project Sponsorship

Have you ever been tasked with driving a project you’ve felt was going nowhere? Maybe you were a project manager or project owner, coordinating a team that was working on something you felt wasn’t gaining traction within the organization.

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By Cultivate Labs on Oct 01, 2015

Superforecasting -- Everything has a base rate

Basically, we want to find the base rate of similar events occurring, and then adjusting that percentage by taking into account the differences between this event and the similar ones.

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By Ben Golden on Sep 21, 2015

Forecasting Atrocities

Holly Ramer has a piece up at the Washington Post about our work with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to identify risks of mass violence in different countries:

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