Inner8 Beta — very hush, hush

All investors are different, but they all have one thing in common. They can do better with the right advice.

But where do you get that advice? The fees paid to brokers diminish returns whether they give good advice or bad. The vast majority of mutual funds don't even outperform the market. And the press offers generic information that aren't personalized to individual investors.

Traction's new client, Inner8, uses some pretty snazzy and sophisticated tools to provide free, tailored advice to investors powered by the wisdom of crowds. It's called Inner8 because once a user has eight connections, Inner8's tools start to significantly improve investment performance.

That advice provided by Inner8 falls into two camps: the ability to discover new opportunities and the ability to validate decisions.

Inner8 helps users discover opportunities in two ways: first, it identifies opportunities based on the top performers in the community that match up with a user's personal investing preferences. Then, it surfaces additional, unexpected opportunities based on historical correlations between individual stocks and industries.

Inner8 also helps users validate investing decisions by leveraging the collective intelligence of their community. They can see how the most successful investors in the community perceive any given investment decision. With just eight active users in a user's Inner Circle, that collective intelligence is right more often than not—certainly more often than the "pros."

If you want to check it out, you can use this special access key on their homepage to check out the beta: 1ieiq


Seinfeld ad

I hear a lot of people are saying the new Seinfeld ad for Microsoft is horrible, but I think the Jerry Seinfeld Microsoft ad is more strategically brilliant than most people realize. It's not going to do squat to sell Vista today. But it's not meant to. What this ad did exceptionally well was make Microsoft human and likable by making Bill Gates human and likable. He shops for shoes just like everyone else. People expected Crispin to try to make Microsoft cool, but everyone knows that the least cool thing you can do is say "I'm cool." By making Bill this guy you want to be pals with, suddenly Apple's commercials feel mean-spirited. The cool kid in high school making fun of the geek. This ad isn't about selling Vista today. It's about shifting perception to pave the way for tomorrow. Hence, "The future. Delicious." Microsoft gets forgiven for royally screwing up Vista because, hey, they're only human. They'll get it right.

Of course, I'll never move from Apple to Microsoft. But that's my 2 cents on the commerical.


Burning Man Policy

Some people question why is it that Traction has a guaranteed-time-off-for-Burning-Man policy. Our hypothesis is that BM is that we are a creative company and Burning Man fuels the creative spirit like nothing else. Evidence? Here's an installation that our ACD, Renee Crawshaw, helped build out on the Playa with artist Peter Hudson.

I think we're on to something.