Cultivate Labs Blog

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

By Adam Siegel on May 10, 2016

Three Trends Set to Revolutionize How We Work

Our new white paper about "The Future of How We Work"

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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 Mar 17, 2016

How Internal Crowdsourcing Will Transform the Way We Do Business

For years, companies of all shapes and sizes have utilized the power of the crowd to research, test, and drum up support for their products or service offerings. It makes sense — tapping into the external crowd can not only power idea generation at scale and in real time, but it can also drive engagement among your most important brand ambassadors.Traditionally, market research has dictated that customers (or people like them) are always the best sources of information. But this is limiting...

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By Adam Siegel on Feb 10, 2016

The Circle of (Work) Life

One of our developers left Cultivate recently to go work for a much larger company - an experience he has never had before. They are throwing more money at him than we ever could, and he will work on a team larger than our entire company...

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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 Jess Price on Nov 17, 2015

Logo is a four letter word: Branding Cultivate Labs

Creating a logo for a company can be a daunting task. In this post our Creative Director, Jessica Price explains how we landed on the final logo for Cultivate Labs.

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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 Adam Siegel on Nov 09, 2015

Finding value in the much maligned "networking event"

While I’ll grant the naysayers that some networking events end up being a waste of time, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find one aspect universally helpful: the ability to have short, 5 minute conversations with everyone I meet about our business.

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By Ben Golden on Oct 27, 2015

What Is A Prediction? What Is Crazy? Markets Can Help

Over at Grantland, Zach Lowe has published an article featuring 35 crazy prediction for the upcoming NBA season. Writes Lowe: For this to be fun, we have to find the sweet spot between bat-crap crazy and probable. Let’s all be wrong together!

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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 Ben Golden on Oct 02, 2015

Prediction Market Failure

Effective prediction markets require a certain amount of liquidity--meaning that after users invest points in making a forecast, and while the question is still running, they need a way to exit their investment.

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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 28, 2015

Does TruthCoin Solve A Problem?

I've been following the development of TruthCoin, a platform for decentralized prediction markets, for a while now. Prediction markets at their core are about crowdsourcing forecasts. At Cultivate Labs, we've also built a platform to crowdsource question authorship. TruthCoin goes one step further and crowdsources question resolution.

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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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By Adam Siegel on Sep 17, 2015

Nation of Insecurity

In society’s harsh klieg light, if you’re not a world class athlete with multiple Super Bowl rings, your company isn’t worth a billion dollars, you don't have rock hard abs 3 months after having a baby, or you’re a politician polling in single digits, you’re “middling.” 20 years ago, it was unheard of to meet anyone who had run a marathon, and rarer still to meet anyone who had completed an Ironman. Now you’re lucky to get a “nice job” on Facebook.

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