Book of Odds, With Book Deal in Tow, Is Updating Website to Help Consumers Make Sense of Risks in Everyday Life

9/13/10Follow @xconomy

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just comparing the odds of getting one type of cancer to another, the site will be able to compare cancer stats with the similar odds of occurrences in all the other subject areas its statements cover. For example, the site can find that the odds of a white male getting a cancer diagnosis in a given year are roughly the same as the odds of someone getting murdered in the state of Georgia, a fact that would speak strongly to someone in law enforcement and help them better decide how to go about mitigating the risk or understand their chances of getting the disease.

“We want to teach people to think in a new way and get comfortable with these numbers,” Shapiro says.

The odds comparison data also can give businesses catchy and meaningful content to market their products and the need for it, Shapiro says. For example, the Book of Odds helped a software company find the odds that a consumer will experience the problem its technology is trying to solve. They took it a step further, by showing that these were roughly the same odds that a consumer will own an outdoor grill, to really emphasize the scope and likelihood. It’s a fact the software company uses often in its marketing strategy, Shapiro says.

“Numbers don’t mean anything to us inherently, so we help compare them to something we understand,” he says.

The Book of Odds website currently has articles and blog posts built around many of the odds statements and subjects, and the updated website is out to further engage users with forums that enable them to discuss how to improve, outsmart, or beat the odds. And ultimately, the more content that is added to the company database, through odds statements or user-generated content, will enhance the product.

“I think of us like a good stock option,” Shapiro says of the company. “An option is valuable the longer it can win and the bigger the upside. With us, we have many, many upsides.”

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