Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Reaction to book Wisdom of Crowds

So I am reading this book called "The Wisdom of Crowds." It's a great book. One of the points is that under the right conditions, a group of people can be way smarter than individuals. Furthermore, it goes on to say that a group of experts does worse than a group of one expert and several dummies.

Ok so what does this mean? Well, it means that experts aren't so amazing. It means that you shouldn't go look for an expert to solve your problem. You should look for a group.

Ok so what can we do to make a million dallas off of this? (You were waiting for me to speak about this weren't you?) Well it's simple, start "Wisdom of Crowds Funds"
. This is how it would work:
1. Hire a few stock picking gurus
2. When they have a theory like: Will Coke's new drink sell or will every one slurp Pepsis instead? You survey every one in the fund. They come back with a yes or a no and the stock gurus use that to make their decision on which company to buy.
3. Retire to island in the pacific.

It's as easy as that!

The genious is that the public will have information about the product of service in question that the stock guru's will never have. Each person adds their tiny piece of information and it aggregates together to be a really smart assessment. Thus, we've made the situation where the expert is teamed with a big group of dummies, and so the group decision should be better than any team of highly paid stock maniacs.

I'm suprised no one has taken advantage of this. There are millions of people who hold any given fund. Every single one of them is motivated to make the fund succeed. No one has bothered to get them involved in the stock evaluation! Amazing.

Anyway, I'm going to go back to paying my dumb experts 1% of my money so they can use their all-mighty powers to know which way the market will turn. Wish me luck!

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