I didn’t get all the way through Wikinomics before i had to return it to the library, but i plan to go back for the second half. So i don’t have it in front of me, and therefore can’t quite do it justice in a review. But it’s an important book that addresses several topics around how cultures of openness and collaboration are changing the nature of business and technology.

Some of the main points discussed include:

  • How advances in technology have brought production within the reach of a much larger group of people than ever before
  • “Ideagoras”, about corporate outsourcing of R&D to bring a much larger pool of ideas to bear on challenging problems
  • “Prosumers”: how customers want to hack, not just passively consume, products
  • How sharing scientific knowledge accelerates progress
  • Open, participative platforms that enable those outside an enterprise to build on its products
  • Wikis in the workplace

While the success of applications like Wikipedia may prove hard to reproduce, it’s clear that they represent some fundamental changes to how knowledge is developed and shared.