Reading: Wikinomics

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.

One thought on “Reading: Wikinomics”

  1. Wikinomics is a great book, full of hope for what can be. I read it about a year ago, but I remember thinking tends too far towards the idea that everything should be open-sourced and collaboratively developed. There are some dangers there. For instance, do you really want group-think to control doctrine and theology? Do you not? Both approaches have led Christianity astray.

    While great ideas, there are no bounds, guidelines, principles or anything else to help understand the contexts and situations to which open collaboration is best suited. When I realized that, my excitement waned. I do think collaboration is good, but the ability to think through implications and accurately apply that approach is just as difficult as any other idea of men.

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