Wikinomics

@Kevin | Social

I was lucky enough to meet with the Professor I will be working under for my thesis before the semester break. Overall the meeting was fruitful and encouraging, one of the bi-products of the meeting was an additional reading list for me. The first book on the list was Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams.

The main theme throughout the book is mass collaboration and how it has impacted certain companies, organizations, creativity, and the importance of it. Tapscott and Williams look at companies like Boeing, Proctor and Gamble, Wikipedia, Amazon, and even the Human Genome Project in their case studies as the authors exam how these companies have used mass collaboration in their creation or changing of their business models.

There are four main points of collaboration that they address with these companies and are really the key points of the book:

  • being open- be transparent in what you do
  • peering- work with other people outside of your company to innovate
  • sharing- be open with your work, your intellectual property, your concepts that aren’t being used properly, innovation and creation can come from that
  • acting globally- talent isn’t restrained to just the US, opening your eyes to the rest of the world can help your company take great steps with ftp

How these core concepts are approached and how these companies use them provide really interesting case studies. Seeing large companies open up their intellectual property to smaller companies and individuals so they can innovate and use their specialized knowledge to create better or new products is amazing. One example a scientific research website where companies list a goal of what they want accomplished and post a reward for someone coming up with a solution. This has helped out scientists in smaller countries and people that want to launch their own businesses by allowing them to use their expertise to solve these larger problems. People are able to share solutions and discuss the problem as well, creating a community around the science.

While this book might not apply directly to social web or promotion I think that the concepts that are discussed in this book can help modify your personal approach to how you create and use content. I highly recommend reading this book, as companies adapt and begin to use various social web tools in their everyday operations this book helps provide an understanding of the concepts behind using them and why it is important.

What books have you been reading?

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