Putting crowd wisdom to work on the Google Blog covers how the company uses its own staff as a predictive market to forecast things like launch dates for products, office openings and other things of "strategic" importance to Google. Apparently it works pretty well, though there's not really near enough details to tell. At first, I thought it was a far more interesting idea that Googlers might actually have to bid against each other to determine who gets to next launch their pet project when there are upteenmillion going on. But the idea that Googlers might contribute in this way to help shape when and where the company goes in particular directions still sounds kind of cool. What would be really cool is if people outside Google could play.
Postscript: Sure, Google may have a fancy-schmancy forecasting tool, but it also has the big master plan white board where Googlers contribute to what the company should do, as well. We wrote about that before in the The Illustrated Google Master Plan. Niall Kennedy has just posted a new shot of it. I keep forgetting to take my camera and fully map it out properly. Next time!