Sunday, November 19, 2006

Experiment with Peer to Peer Lending

A couple of months ago I found a new web site that claims to be the eBay of lending.

Prosper is a intriguing startup by a founder of Paypal that allows you to lend money to others by bidding on loans. Loans are ranked by credit risk and there is even a 3rd party who ranks lenders with risk adjusted profiles. As you can see from the link I'm doing better then my mutual funds -- too bad this wasn't an offer in my 401k.

Updated: As an experiment - I've added a group function where I help people to get loans.
See the site I setup UpgradeYourCredit

Join my group on Prosper, people-to-people lending

Business Forecasting -- missing an opportunity

I'm amazed at the number of companies that miss a key way to serve their customers better and make more money. Better forecasting is a key "lever" in the process of improving business performance with both top line and bottom line impact. Top line revenue grows the better you match what you have to what the customer wants, and where they want it. A good forecasting process will do just that -- and it will give you an early warning when business starts to trend down. Bottom line also benefits by giving your manufacturing team a more stable plan and producing less waste.

Companies continue to treat this group as a "clerk" position and perhaps they throw some tools at the group. The best companies will seed the team with key business experts and people who understand the forecasting process from a mathematical perspective.

For companies that are "average" in tracking forecast error, the opportunity is large - about 2% of revenues - so a $100M USD company could drop $2M to their profits. I talked to one $1B+ company that didn't even track forecast error - a great opportunity for their new CIO to save the company a great deal of money.

Another data collection opportunity.

Technology Review had a great article on the Car Chip. I surfed over to the Davis site and discovered it allows you to monitor a number of engine performance indicators and the high end version allows you to have a GPS installed as well.

Neat technology - though still a bit pricey -- not sure if my kids would appreciate my tracking them every where they went but perhaps my insurance company would.

What we need now is a "HRP System" (Home Resource Planner) - that would link into the data via 802.11g and schedule tuneups and oilchanges on my Calendar system.