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Unformatted text preview: raf f ic patterns and buying cycles, can witness custo mer reactio ns f irst hand,
and o f ten have a degree o f f ield insight no t available to senio r managers at the co mpany’s
Minneapo lis headquarters. Harness this co llective input and yo u’ve go t a gro up brain where, as
wisdo m o f cro wds pro po nents o f ten put it, “the we is greater than the me.” When Best Buy asked
its emplo yees to predict gif t card sales, the “cro wd’s” co llective average answer was 99.5 percent
accurate; experts paid to make the predictio n were o f f by 5 percent. Ano ther experiment predicting
ho liday sales was o f f by o nly 1/ 10 o f 1 percent. The experts? Of f by 7 percent!P . Dvo rak, “Best Buy
Taps ‘P redictio n Market,’” Wall Street Jo urnal, September 16, 2008; and Renée Dye, “The
P ro mise o f P redictio n Markets: A Ro undtable,” McKinsey Quarterly (2008): 83–93. In an article in the McKinsey Quarterly, Suro wiecki o utlined several criteria necessary f o r a cro wd...
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- Winter '14
- The American