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I'm interested in bringing forecasting techniques to my company, like Danny Hernandez described in HBR. If anyone has experience doing this, how did it play out and what were the key obstacles?

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Our venture capital fund (alt protein) recently did training into forecasting and decision making (based on approach from Superforecasting, How to Decide, The Scout mindset).

As a result, we're currently revamping our evaluation process to attempt to reduce bias and explicitly think in terms of scenarios, probabilities and expected value return multiples, rather than our old approach of guesstimating the likely outcome and scoring around that single scenario (we're also participating in some forecasting exercises to help us understand possible paths for the technology in more detail)

So far the key obstacles are to figure out how to adopt these new techniques without spending vastly more time in analysis, leaving us less time on generating dealflow and also making founders wait longer for feedback and go/no go decisions.

Another practical challenge is the actual nuts and bolts of how to take various expert inputs and then actually come up with the predictions (Superforecasting doesn't really go into the details).

Hi Simon, 

May I ask who provided the forecasting training? My team is also interested in training to reduce bias and think more probabilistically. We've all read Superforecasting and Scout Mindset, etc. Ready to make it practical!

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Simon Newstead
1y
Sure, we self studied from an agenda that the two of us put together: - those 3 books - some clearer thinking modules (great resource) - practicing forecasting on metaculus - reading some other articles and interviews Here's a doc with all the details (also contains book notes if it's of info)
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You might be interested in this talk from Dan Schwarz (current Metaculus CTO, former Google employee) on "Prediction Markets at Google, and Lessons in Corporate Forecasting": 

 

It gives a reasonably thorough history of prediction markets at Google, and some insight into the use of forecasting at Google in his time there. Probably my main takeaway from watching was the belief in the importance of forecasting questions resolving quickly (the section at 32:17) in producing high quality forecasters (who can learn from the fast feedback). It sounds very plausible to me but I'm not aware of anything in the forecasting literature that conclusively shows it to be the case.

Related, so I allow myself to interject here: I want to push predictions market in my company. Is there a private solution for Prediction Markets?

I searched but didn't find any.

Thanks!

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