I'm always curious about technology products and product launches, but an interesting thing happened recently with the launch of the latest Google Phone (i.e. the Nexus One).
Release date prediction market on Hubdub
I created a Google Nexus One Release Date market on Hubdub. Hubdub is a play-money prediction market system, a wisdom-of-the-crowds tool to help gather ideas about the outcome of a specific event. The market was created on December 15th and almost immediately it was showing a 94% likelihood of release in the first quarter of 2010.
Hubdub lets people make predictions on a question and when they do so they choose whether that prediction will be public or private. In the case of this market there is currently over $18,000 of play-money at stake and just over $3,300 of those positions are public. So 80% of the play-money is hidden, but the effect of those positions is totally public. While hiding their identity is possible the world still can quite easily see the sentiments of the people involved: early 2010!
More traditional media coverage of Google Nexus One Phone
I went and googled the launch date and saw very little information. Fortunately their "integrated live search" of twitter gave me a hint:
The BoyGeniusReport shows a screenshot from a T-Mobile internal memo that says it will be available in January of 2010.
A quick review of google news results shows similar information. An article from Examiner.com got it right, but WallStreetJournal is providing their "indepth" coverage of a basically trash story (it's going to be a "droid killer"? really? probably it will be a "droid ally" because they both run android and now the market for apps is getting bigger!).
Prediction markets save the day
So, what can we see. Prediction markets surface information early that is only becoming available in the more mainstream weeks later. There is very little effort involved in creating and administering a prediction market (at least on Hubdub that's the case - building the software is a bit more complex...). So, if you have a burning question that you'd like to get input on - create a question on Hubdub and become my friend - I always need more good questions to spend my play-money on!