An elegantly timed Betfair outage

24/10/2015 | By | Reply More

Ok, so no Betfair outage is elegantly timed in reality, but as you may have noticed, I’ve been quite this week. That’s because I find myself in San Francisco at the moment. So the outage was ‘handy’ as I wasn’t going to be trading this morning, but also the ‘why’ bit of my location explains why the outage came at a good time.

Silicon Valley

I’m always interested in tech startups and of course Silicon Valley is home to an infinite amount. Its invigorating being here. SF is home to Air BnB and Uber, two peer to peer ‘sharing’ economy Goliath’s.To ensure I was embedded in the culture, the location I’m staying in was booked with Air BnB and I’ve been using Uber drivers to get me around to meet people.

Both work wonderfully and I can get a much better choice of services at a fraction of the traditional ‘old economy’ costs. They work because they deliver value to users and in a manner that is simple and easy to understand.

In some ways both Air BnB and Uber face similar problems to exchanges, mainly legislation and peoples fear of destructive capitalism. But if we let those issues dominant, we wouldn’t have invented or use nearly everything we do in modern life. Were computers banned, because they replaced the pen and typewriter?

Why I’m here

This morning I’ve been meeting with VC’s, techies and others to talk about peer to peer networks and the future. You may have seen my post on Augur a little while ago, that gave me the idea to come over here during a quieter time of the year for me.

I’m discussing, with clarity and without bias; the benefits, disadvantages and opportunities in the current models. This is why the Betfair outage this morning was so poignant and well timed, you really couldn’t have made it up!

I’ve been using my experience on betting exchanges to talk about this general sector, but also to highlight that there is still an opportunity on exchanges if you approach it from a fresh angle. It’s been 15 years since I started on exchanges and they really should have taken over the world, but for some reason they haven’t.

People still use bookies, still get duff value, restricted and bullied for won’t of a better word and the core exchange technology and liquidity is not shared in a balanced manner. I believe there is a better business model for sports exchanges, than the one we are currently stuck with. At the Matchbook conference the other week I know I share the same view as others in the industry, that was refreshing and gave me further vigour to take it up once again as a cause, rather than a means to an end.

At the end of the day, I didn’t pioneer a path through exchanges to push people to gamble with bookmakers. Not for that manner did I do it to make a few quid on the software. I did it to transform the way betting worked and to show people there was a better way. I’ve got many thoughts on this, which are best shared in a video. But by being here and pitching to the community that is here, I hope we can evolve the model further and pick up where others left the model behind.

Best regards, from a man on a mission!


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About the Author ()

I left a good job in the consumer technology industry to go a trade on Betfair for a living way back in June 2000. I've been here ever since pushing very boundaries of what's possible on betting exchanges and loved every minute of it.

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