Sean Park Portrait
Quote of The Day Title
I say profound things

Needles and haystacks

The FT this morning reports on a new search/news aggregation service aimed at the financial trading community aka ‘hedge funds’ (is it just me or are pretty soon are we going to be referring to any business involved in trading assets as a hedge fund?…) I won’t bother to link to the FT (too bad for them, change your paywall policy folks) but basically it is touted as a revolution in information gathering, digging out the nuggets that exist below the radar screen of the conventional or mainstream press.

Sounds like they have some smart people and decent technology so I’m sure it will be useful however I suspect the really smart money traders who have known how to search blogs and use RSS readers and tagging and social-bookmarking services etc. will be a bit annoyed that any old dinosaur trader will be (in theory) able to find the same gems of information buy paying up for Monitor110‘s services. And to be absolutely frank, the ground Monitor110 is breaking isn’t completely virgin; firms like Clearforest and Relegence have been offering similar services for some time now and digital generation traders can mash-up their own intellingent news filters either from scratch or using tools like Netvibes.

Edward Hadas over at (another paywall, but really good analysis site founded by Hugo Dixon) likens it to using the ‘wisdom of crowds’ to trade. I’m sorry Edward but actually I think you’ve got this one wrong. ‘Wisdom of crowd’ – mining would be things like Marketocracy and SocialPicks. Monitor110 in my opinion is all about finding the needle in the haystack; finding the individual voice or nugget that escapes crowd amplification. Finding the kernel before it becomes a snowball. Where I do agree with him however is the paradox of diminishing returns: the more people find the needle the more difficult it will be to monetise. Or paraphrasing Dash – ‘if everybody is special, it really just means that nobody is…’


I don’t want to sound too negative however; if it does what it says on the tin, I think it could be a very useful tool and if they have smart technologists and market savvy management which definitely seems to be the case on the face of it, they should be able to continue to innovate incrementally and stay ahead of the obsolescence curve at least for a few more years. One to follow for sure.

  1. At 3:45 pm on 21 Sep 06 Gregor J. Rothfuss said:

    A friend of mine has a profitable startup in this space, SupraSphere. His product is sort of a group IM meets meets Google Desktop, and more, and I would describe it as squarely aimed at digital generation traders.

  2. At 9:33 pm on 21 Sep 06 Mike said:

    I hear about gaining the competitive edge through access to information from many manufactures in the information management space. Not being a banker, I need to be convinced, but they claim exactly what Monitor110 is claiming…Access (premium, free, deep web content), Analyse (cross reference for authencity, Investment decisions), Monitize (Reward).

    I get the concept totally.. akin to consumer meets enterprise, increasing the scope, breaking down the walled gardens…right? Are most investment decision made from the wisdom of crowds or just low return investments?

  3. At 8:38 am on 22 Sep 06 Sean said:

    Had a look at the SupraSphere site. Interesting – would be useful if they had a screencast available (apparently one is on the way.) From just reading the material available on the site it seemed to be a closed solution, which if true, would limit it’s appeal longer term imo. Anything that creates vendor or environment lock-in I think will ultimately prove obsolete and will make sales very hard (given the huge upfront commitment adoption would imply.) Of course I could be mistaken but if so, they should add a section on their site marketing the api’s available and how you could create mash-ups with the wider information ecosystem. Anyhow thanks for the pointer and I’ve added it to my diigo.

  4. At 1:16 pm on 05 Oct 06 nirm said:

    check out supercomputer checking over 1 billion strategies to find best timing for stock trading.

  5. […] We now find ourselves in the blog-o-sphere[1] and this idea is being revisited: […]

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