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 HÃ¤agen-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.
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