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Prosper Days (Day 1 Overview)

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By the time this is published, I should be at day 2 of Prosper.com's annual conference . I figure this is as good a time as any to give a review of day 1. While there were lots of things that I learned, many of them are deserving of a separate post. Here is a preview of some of those things as well as some behind the scenes things you probably won't read elsewhere:

  • Food - I couldn't believe the quality and quantity of food. Breakfast had fresh fruit, pastries, orange juice and Starbucks coffee. Mid-morning snacks were cookies, bottled fruit smoothies, and some granola snacks. Lunch was a buffet with make-your-own-sandwiches, macaroni and pasta salad, and cheesecake. The afternoon snack had pretzels filled with cheese and Häagen-Dazs ice cream as well as Tollhouse ice cream sandwiches. Lastly the day ended with stuffed mushrooms, mini-quiches and an open bar of wine and beer. You couldn't find one person disappointed with the food.
  • Lending Services - Did you know that Prosper has a group of employees devoted to helping lenders? I've been a member for over two years now and I haven't heard of this group before.
  • Endorsements - Endorsements from people who have bid money on a loan tend to default less often. Unverified endorsements mean nothing.
  • Groups - Being part of a large group can be a negative for a borrower. However, being a part of a small group could be a benefit.
  • Blog - In the words of CEO Chris Larsen, "the Prosper Blog is going well."
  • 500 Hats - Dave McClure stood out as one of the most brilliant speakers.
  • Egg on Prosper's Face - Prosper looked bad with a panel of people who had high ROIs. Of the four people, three of them had just been investing a few months. One invests only in portfolio plans telling me that his return is going to be in line with the norm. It would have been great to see someone who has had long-term success.
  • Prosper BidSniping a Reality - RateLadder showed off a 120-line program that he used to bid on 5 loans automatically. He looked for loans that fit his criteria and bid on the ones that ended first. He says this is quite possibly a game changer. For those who know how to take advantage of this, I have to agree.

Let me know in the comments which ones you'd want to hear more about (with the exception of the food) in future posts.

Last updated on July 29, 2011.

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8 Responses to “Prosper Days (Day 1 Overview)”

  1. Tom says:

    Nice coverage. I just checked Dave’s blog. Hopefully he will make some of his presentation available.

    I look forward to your review of Day 2!

  2. Cindy says:

    I’d like to hear more about Bid Sniping… can you explain the mechanics and how this could be a game changer?

    Please give us more updates from Prosper Days!

  3. Odnal says:

    I’m interested too in how bid sniping could be advantageous. It would allow lenders to have money tied up for a shorter period of time, and not to bid on loans that aren’t going to get fully funded anyway.

    I can see how if everybody is sniping, then it would throw off some statistics on the site and that would be damaging, but I don’t see that happening

  4. pfodyssey says:

    My current opinion of Prosper is no secret…and the highlight of the panel only serves to strengthen my perceptions (however, kudos to Lazy for mentioning it). I’m mostly interested in lender performance measures over time. Look forward to Day 2…

  5. Lazy Man says:

    I’ve always called it like I see it. Don’t take too much into that one panel – Prosper shone in so many other ways that it was ridiculous. The only thing way to measure things over time is to wait for time. Unfortunately once a market becomes extremely liquid and everyone knows it’s exact value it won’t have market-beating returns. Once the risk is taken out, more people will join and the market and it will have little reward.

  6. “You couldn’t find one person disappointed with the food.”
    Actually… I’m vegan and I was very annoyed that both salads both days had meat or dairy products in them. For crying out loud, leave the salad alone! It doesn’t need to be polluted with meat and dairy.

    If I were to arrange the catering for next year, I’d offer a true vegetarian option for those who eat vegetarian, vegan, kosher, or otherwise abstain from meat and dairy.

  7. Lazy Man says:

    I stand corrected. I should have said that everyone who tried the food probably thought it tasted excellent. That just didn’t seem to flow very well.

    As someone who has tried to plan for events like this, its simply impossible to find something that fits vegans, vegetarians, kosher, etc. I mean you might be able to do water, fruits, vegetables, and grains, but then people on the Atkins diet would be unhappy. I have a little rule that if you are going to eliminate all food groups in your diet, you should always be prepared with your own food. It’s just too much to ask of the host.

  8. “500 Hats – Dave McClure stood out as one of the most brilliant speakers.”
    Agreed. He was good.

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