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Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything [Hardcover]

Don Tapscott , Anthony D. Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 22 2008
An updated edition of the national bestseller?now with a new introduction and a new chapter

Today, encyclopedias, jetliners, operating systems, mutual funds, and many other items are being created by teams numbering in the thousands or even millions. While some leaders fear the heaving growth of these massive online communities, Wikinomics proves this fear is folly. Smart firms can harness collective capability and genius to spur innovation, growth, and success.

A brilliant guide to one of the most profound changes of our time, Wikinomics challenges our most deeply-rooted assumptions about business and will prove indispensable to anyone who wants to understand competitiveness in the twenty- first century.

Based on a $9 million research project led by bestselling author Don Tapscott, Wikinomics shows how masses of people can participate in the economy like never before. They are creating TV news stories, sequencing the human genome, remixing their favorite music, designing software, finding a cure for disease, editing school texts, inventing new cosmetics, or even building motorcycles. You'll read about:
? Rob McEwen, the Goldcorp, Inc. CEO who used open source tactics and an online competition to save his company and breathe new life into an old-fashioned industry.
? Flickr, Second Life, YouTube, and other thriving online communities that transcend social networking to pioneer a new form of collaborative production.
? Mature companies like Procter & Gamble that cultivate nimble, trust-based relationships with external collaborators to form vibrant business ecosystems.

An important look into the future, Wikinomics will be your road map for doing business in the twenty-first century.


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The word "wiki" means "quick" in Hawaiian, and here author and think tank CEO Tapscott (The Naked Corporation), along with research director Williams, paint in vibrant colors the quickly changing world of Internet togetherness, also known as mass or global collaboration, and what those changes mean for business and technology. Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia written, compiled, edited and re-edited by "ordinary people" is the most ubiquitous example, and its history makes remarkable reading. But also considered are lesser-known success stories of global collaboration that star Procter & Gamble, BMW, Lego and a host of software and niche companies. Problems arise when the authors indulge an outsized sense of scope-"this may be the birth of a new era, perhaps even a golden one, on par with the Italian renaissance, or the rise of Athenian democracy"-while acknowledging only reluctantly the caveats of weighty sources like Microsoft's Bill Gates. Methods for exploiting the power of collaborative production are outlined throughout, an alluring compendium of ways to throw open previously guarded intellectual property and to invite in previously unavailable ideas that hide within the populace at large. This clear and meticulously researched primer gives business leaders big leg up on mass collaboration possibilities; as such, it makes a fine next-step companion piece to James Surowiecki's 2004 bestseller The Wisdom of Crowds.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Anyone who has done even a modest amount of browsing on the Internet has probably run across Wikipedia, the user-edited online encyclopedia that now dwarfs the online version of Encyclopedia Britannica. This is the prime example of what is called the new Web, or Web 2.0, where sites such as MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, and even the Human Genome Project allow mass collaboration from participants in the online community. These open systems can produce faster and more powerful results than the traditional closed proprietary systems that have been the norm for private industry and educational institutions. Detractors claim that authentic voices are being overrun by "an anonymous tide of mass mediocrity," and private industry laments that competition from the free goods and services created by the masses compete with proprietary marketplace offerings. The most obvious example of this is Linux, the open-source operating system that has killed Microsoft in the server environment. But is this a bad thing? Tapscott thinks not; and as a proponent of peering, sharing, and open-source thinking, he has presented a clear and exciting preview of how peer innovation will change everything. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4.0 out of 5 stars
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Think of this book more as reporting of where the world was in 2005 than analysis and direction for the future. But Wikinomics is a helpful resource to have, for most people are unaware of the extent to which self-organization through mass communication is being developed. Some of the successes are spectacular like the Goldcorp contest to locate more gold (which I described in The Ultimate Competitive Advantage in 2003) and Procter & Gamble's astonishing efforts to acquire technology from outside the organization (which I describe in The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution).

The strength of the book is that several different aspects of on-line mass collaborations are developed including:

1. Open collaborations to produce collective results not owned by anyone including Wikipedia and Linux.

2. Accessing more expert knowledge through idea markets (such as Goldcorp and P&G have done).

3. Customers being able to participate in detailed customization past what the vendor facilitates (basically a blurring of company-customer boundaries).

4. Knowledge transfer among the scientific community.

5. Methods of opening access to partners, especially for complementary software development.

6. Global production methods.

7. New ways of facilitating work in combination with those outside the organization.

If you are like me, you'll learn about some examples that you didn't before and find yourself feeling better informed.

The book has two annoying qualities that you should be aware of. First, the authors are very generous with each other in giving credit for ideas generated in the nondigital world by others.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I've Changed My Mind A Bit.. May 28 2007
By Mark Nenadov TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
This book intends to show how new collaborative technologies are changing the way things work in business. It stresses the point that people and corporations need to adapt or be left behind. It speaks about things like the Open Source movement and how Web 2.0 requires some new perspectives on business and success. It contrasts archaic ways of doing business with the new "open" ways that are powering current developments in the market. It covers many case studies about businesses that have shown remarkable ability to adopt and embrace this new collaboration.

I found myself part way through this book with very negative feelings about it. It all seemed rather hype-driven to me. The authors talk very optimistically about the new "Golden Era" of Wikinomics and collaboration. It is loaded with platitudes and strange usage of words such as "huckstering", "ecosystems", "consultantese", "successism", etc. It seemed to be a large pile of "purple prose". I also found some technically inaccurate statements, such as the part about XML and tagging. There is also some questionable usage of the term "open source", even to the point where the book at one point states that Microsoft is adopting open source. I don't remember the exact words, but that is basically what they implied. That is not true. Microsoft is, in reality, trying to appear more transparent about what they are doing and are releasing some source code. From what I understand, the Windows source code has always been available to whoever is willing to sign a draconian contractual agreement. But that is not open source. Open source involves releasing source code on some very specific terms, which mere distribution of sources doesn't necessarily satisfy. Even Microsoft marketing moguls know enough to distinguish between this and "open source".
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A lot of smoke and mirrors! Sept. 8 2007
By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
I have just finished reading "Wikinomics" and get this strange feeling that I've come across this theme somewhere else in my distant past. Then it hits me; yes, it has to be the Tofflers of the 80s and their obsessive prophecies about the coming of the liberating, mind-bending, 2nd and 3rd Wave Information Age. While the book contains some useful updates on where the present worldwide web is going, it can be reduced to the old saw, "many minds or hands make light work". According to Tapscott, collaboration in the form of co-creative communities is where the Internet is going in the future, and when finally realized will truly revolutionize our way of thinking. While such thinking is creatively futuristic and inspiring, many of us still think in the present in terms of using information to our individualistic advantage. Does that mean that we are not part of the wave? Tapscott leaves me with the distinct impression that even my core set of values or belief system will not be spared in this great social radicalization. While he seems prepared to dispense with the hierarchical paradigm of decision-making, where someone above you gives the orders, he doesn't share his vision as to how things will eventually get done in that future paradise of an economy. At best, he seems to hint that it will come together as the base of human intelligence synergizes and seeks new frontiers. Such a notion is pie-in-the sky given the fact that we, as the human race, can't seem to come together to address the real problems facing the globe: AIDS, war, poverty, and illiteracy. Having websites like MySpace and YouTube might be a good starting point for pooling ideas but it doesn't give us the right to be optimistic about having arrived before we've barely started. Read this book, if only to get caught up with the latest developments in the information world.
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