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Wikinomics

How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything

By Don Tapscott & Anthony D. Williams
15-minute read
Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott & Anthony D. Williams

Wikinomics shows how Wikipedia-like mass collaboration of individuals is revolutionizing society and business, and why this is actually good for companies and the public.

  • Anyone interested in how Wikipedia-like collaboration will change the world
  • Managers, CEOs and startup founders
  • Anyone who works in research and development (R&D)

Don Tapscott is a Canadian business executive and consultant who has written more than 15 books, including the best-selling Paradigm Shift.

Anthony D. Williams is a consultant and researcher as well as the vice president and executive editor at New Paradigm.

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Wikinomics

How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything

By Don Tapscott & Anthony D. Williams
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Contains 9 key ideas
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Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott & Anthony D. Williams
Synopsis

Wikinomics shows how Wikipedia-like mass collaboration of individuals is revolutionizing society and business, and why this is actually good for companies and the public.

Key idea 1 of 9

In the digital age, mass collaboration affects almost every sphere of our lives.

Within the last 25 years, the internet has become a significant part of the lives of more than one third of the global population, and enabled us to communicate and cooperate with people all around the world on a massive scale.

In fact, this easy access to information technologies is one of the primary tools for active participation in numerous areas of life traditionally reserved for certain elites, such as scientists or academics.

Wikipedia is the perfect example of this concept in action: In the past, only scientists were responsible for assembling the world’s knowledge into tomes and volumes, whereas today anyone can go online and co-create the content of the world’s largest encyclopedia.

In fact, even traditionally secretive endeavors, such as gold mining, can be turned into an open, collective activity.

For example, in 2000 Goldcorp Inc. published all of its data for a certain property online and ran a contest to produce the closest estimation for the location of the gold seam. As geologists, consultants and students from around the world started submitting their estimations, the company gained valuable information that enabled them to locate twice as many mining targets as they had previously found on their own.

As the internet continues to evolve, mass collaboration becomes an even more key feature. Indeed, when the internet was first conceptualized, it was thought of as a “digital newspaper,” but today it functions more like a “shared canvas” where each user can leave their own mark.

Even a simple act like sharing a photo on Facebook has an impact on the online environment by adding to the content of the web. Consequently, most companies try to make their websites interactive, and treat their customers like co-creators instead of mere observers.

As we can see, collaboration today involves the self-organized participation of many individuals, much like a swarm of bees. The interplay between these individual actors sounds complicated, so in the next blink we’ll derive some sense from this seeming chaos.

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