What is failure?

Robin Hanson writes:

I’ll take credit for creating some ideas the world has found useful, but I have completely failed both the market test and the academic test.  That is, I can’t convince any business to let me join them to deliver my ideas at scale, and I can’t convince any top journal to publish my ideas.

Prediction markets are now known by all the people who read the top journals, so the final complaint may reflect an underrewarded Robin but not a failure of Robin.  I also doubt if businesses will ever bite the bullet and adopt prediction markets on a large scale.  The very reason we resort to a firm, rather than the market, is to build consensus and morale, not to forecast the truth.  Prediction markets would tend to break down firms, but of course they still can flourish in Arrow-Hahn-Debreu space.  Here is my previous post on why businesses don’t leap on the bandwagon.  The pointer is from Chris Masse.


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