Cogblog

The Official Blog of Cogmap, the Org Chart Wiki

 

Archive for October, 2007

 

Wow, Search is big!

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

ReachLocal raises huge money with a $55m round.  Huge credit to the management team there, who I have heard are great people.  They have built $250m in value in 3 years.  That’s great!

Having said that, this is a big number.  Now, for these investors to get 10x returns, you need to build a multi-billion dollar business.  Can a business worth $1 billion really be built that is just helping small businesses bid on terms for Google?  Would Google just shut them out or aggressively go head to head?

Of course, Google could just buy them for $1 billion and not even notice the dilution.

Still, seems like a big number!

Are a majority of idiots smarter than a smart man?

Friday, October 5th, 2007

I would need to think about this a little bit and I don’t have time unfortunately, but I have to blog my knee jerk reaction to this: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/crowdchess.php

So the idea is that one thousand people voting on chess moves might be able to defeat a Grand Master.

This is an interesting case because theoretically the individuals might be able to avoid the big mistakes (?) that occasionally occur in games and maybe even see the big opportunities (!), but generally speaking, I suspect it is unlikely because one thousand people voting would probably blow the openings.  Your average person does not play chess well.  That is my hypothesis.  So your average person is going to vote for the wrong move.

Wikipedia’s example of the wisdom of crowds is guessing cattle weight.  This is a single variable decision and the bad decisions high are offset by the bad decisions low and things work out.  Chess is multi-variable, resulting in much more complex decision-making processes.  People voting to move the piece on the left aren’t offsetting people voting to move the piece on the right.  The center piece is the best piece to move, but you never get there.

Interesting idea, would love to see comments.