Six months after The Pivot, will Manifold double its daily active users?

The Pivot + six month timer occurs when core features of the pivot are complete and publicly available, not 100% complete. The 6 month timer will start when cash prizes are able to be withdrawn.

Data from

I will compare DAUs (7 day average) from 1 day before the launch of the pivot, to 6 months after the launch of the pivot

I will extend the date as needed. If no pivot, or no stats page, resolves N/A. I will not trade on this market, since it might be subjective.

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@traders The Pivot was technically today, but I consider withdrawing Prize Points as cash prizes being the core feature. The 6 month timer will start when cash prizes are able to be withdrawn.

opened a Ṁ1 NO at 50% order

The 2024 election is an extremely positive tailwind to boost Manifold user growth

@CarsonGale too bad the election markets are all so close to 50:50.

It might be a well-calibrated 50:50, but it's not going to win any credit with new users the way Nate Silver's 2016 predictions did.

@robm that surprises me? I would have thought 5050 odds were optimal for engagement and instead it's the lack of interesting news events that is driving lack of engagement

@robm I think 50/50 drives engagement more. It's not about Manifold's credibility (until after the election), it's about people disagreeing with what they see and wanting to place bets to make money.

I also think Nate Silver's model is going to outperform prediction markets overall. Maybe not every election, but as a whole.

The usefulness of prediction markets is that they can start much earlier. Due to variance in the polls and lack of data, his model is only going to be well-calibrated well into the election year.

Forget Whales vs Minnows, now we have Staff vs Users

I happen to find this funny

@nikki what are the fingers?

@strutheo manifans

@nikki I don't get it




This market should be a good proxy for success of the pivot. If "real money prizes" actually works, doubling the users should be very straightforward. If it does not work, it seems very unlikely.

Subsidized an extra 250 mana!

@Eliza Honestly, all the subsidizing and bounties I've been making for the last couple weeks were under the assumption that my mana would be worth roughly 1 penny per mana. Now that it's 1/10 I wish I could get my hands on some of that sweet, sweet new devalued mana to 10x all my subsidizing. Maybe someone from Manifold can subsidize this question with 10,000 or so.

@Eliza I'm not betting on this market because of the real money prizes attracting users. I'm betting NO because it's a ridiculously foolish idea from the start and it's going to force the company into bankruptcy.

They're doing a lot of handwaving that judges see right through. When they are immediately sued, no reasonable judge is going to see this "pivot" as anything other than blatant gambling.

A corporation cannot represent itself in court, which means that they will have to be paying $1000/hr to defend themselves; legal fees will probably run $10 million or more at minimum even in a successful defense here because it will take years to survive the onslaught.

Plus, have they ever researched how much it costs to comply with AML and KYC regulations? I have. The cost in one state - Pennsylvania - is a $2 million bond. They need to do that for every individual state; I estimated that it would cost me at least $5 million just to fill out the paperwork, put up the 50 bonds, and "harden" the servers as the rules require, along with paying for the expensive audits.

There was another, more sensible, direction they should have focued on - they don't get that they have built a very good social network. Manifold's social networking features are superior to some of the larger social networks, and they've managed to attract the demographic that is the most valuable possible to advertisers - young, rich men. The better direction was to add social networking features and build Manifold up as an alternative to X, facebook, or reddit, with the markets as the decisive factor that makes Manifold superior to those sites.

@SteveSokolowski You're not alone with the play money + social media suggestion.

@SteveSokolowski this is why i think real money bets are not the actual plan. The actual plan is just get rid of charity. Real money bets are a excuse to do so.

@FranklinBaldo How would that make Manifold profitable, exactly? The charity money came from a grant, and they're still paying devs more than they make. Real money betting is the plan, whether it's a good one or not.

@ShadowyZephyr You hit upon the real problem here.

The cost of developers is too high to make a profit on almost any computer science business noaways. Wages are through the roof. It's why I laid off all of our development staff and do work myself with Claude 3 Opus and GPT-4 Turbo. I can't get done as much, but the business turns a profit now. I will never hire a developer again unless wages fall.

This is also why software engineers are the only occupation that saw wage declines in 2023, while other professions like restaurant work increased pay dramatically. Manifold could be a profitable business if they laid off some of their developers and scaled back their new features, but that doesn't seem to be their plan.

I get the impression that Manifold is one of those businesses that was operating under the "Silicon Valley" model of business - create a website, get lots of users, and sell the business to someone who will pay you more. Actually making money is not a goal under the "Silicon Valley model" because that model falsely values businesses based upon user count. You just get more users and keep selling the business upward.

@SteveSokolowski Manifold's own markets have not been optimistic on the amount of user growth that this pivot will bring. I do think that Manifold never originally intended to be profitable, at least not this soon - they were trying to grow a lot more first, which I believe Austin hinted at when he left. They probably realized that this isn't sustainable, because ultimately the average Joe just doesn't care about prediction markets that much. Even Polymarket only has 1K DAUs, and this is a platform where people are making millions (you'd think regular stock investors would get on board). So they now are trying to be profitable, or at least not bleed as much money as they were.

Also, I think big businesses can still turn a profit, just not startups. If it weren't for that fact, wages would have fallen even more than they already have.

@ShadowyZephyr I don't think that big businesses are making a profit either on software engineers. They just aren't separating out their value from everyone else. They have too many other expenditures to be able to get down to the bottom of what's actually profitable and what's not.

I know that when I laid off most of the staff at my mining pool, stopped advertising, sold all cryptocurrencies immediately upon finding blocks, renegotiated contracts with places like Comcast, sold unnecessary servers, and relocated VMs to stop paying providers and to save electricity, we were able to reverse the pool's profit from -$100,000 per month to +$30,000 per month. That's even though fewer users are mining now than before.

The real issue is that, for good or bad, the economy is built upon unending debt. I don't think that's even bad. In the 2010s, it was great to be able to pay for services like UberEats at the 80% discounts they were offering to get new customers. You could just constantly sign up with new names and credit cards. I pick up my own food now - again because wages are too high for the delivery drivers.

Even though Uber didn't turn a profit, it was a better world for everyone, including the people who lent money to Uber and were repaid with interest.

@ShadowyZephyr But I just want to add - Manifold can be profitable. They just need a CEO who can code, instead of doing business fluff, and they need to issue layoffs of more than developers too.

@SteveSokolowski Fair point. But, the CEOs of Manifold are coding, I believe. This platform only has 7 full-time devs, afaik.