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Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything Hardcover – 12 Jul 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (12 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843546361
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843546368
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 3.2 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 114,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

An important book.
-- A G Lafley, CEO Proctor & Gamble

One of the best business books I have read in years. If you are running a business, you would be cavalier not to take on board its messages. -- Management Today, August 2007

The best picture so far of the new world of enterprise, collaboration, innovation and value creation. This is a breathtaking piece of work. -- Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence

Wikinomics heralds the biggest change in collaboration to date... In order to understand the opportunities this presents for companies, read this book. -- Eric Schmidt, CEO Google

About the Author

Don Tapscott is chief executive of New Paradigm, a think tank. He is the author of ten books. He teaches at the University of Toronto. Anthony D. Williams is a research director at New Paradigm. He teaches at the London School of Economics.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Anon on 3 Jun 2008
Format: Hardcover
I'm sorry to disagree with most of the other Amazon reviewers but as someone who reads a lot of business books I was deeply disappointed with this book for the following reasons. First all the author ever sees are the increasing benefits and upsides to mass collaboration online. Arguments to the contrary are swiftly dismissed and the chapter on making money from mass collaboration is more of the investment now and profits will magically follow thinking that characterised the dotcom boom. Secondly the author is obsessed with the "revolution" that mass market collaboration is apparently creating in every aspect of society. While I don't want to underplay the importance of this trend, I find the term "revolution" is too strong (like Web 2.0) and the lack of reference to the precedents of mass collaboration disappointing(e.g. earlier online communities). Finally and frustrating the book is poorly edited and structured. The font size is tiny and the obscure chapter headings seem to overlap with one another. In short it is hard getting to the point with this book. I did, however, find within it some inspiring examples of mass collaboration that I hadn't previously heard of - for example the mining company example at the beginning. But overall I would not recommend this book - for me it simply a reflection of the euphoria that gripped the internet world back in the end of 2006 with the rising popularity of Facebook et al. The world has moved on since then.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Bodsworth on 11 Sep 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book has plenty of flaws, many pointed out by other reviewers here, but it's central problem is it fails to explain how mass collaboration changes EVERYTHING. Sure it comes up with some compelling evidence that certain sorts of activity and business involving information have changed and will change more.

But when it alleges that this will extend into the physical world, of car design for instance, its examples are woefully thin. Furthermore the authors simply don't acknowledge that design is only one part of the production of cars and that other physical processes are likely to remain unchanged.

I'm sure if you are a magazine editor and your friends all work in publishing or software everything is changing, but where is the evidence that nursing, bus driving, window cleaning or garden design to pluck a few random examples ever will be revolutionised by mass collaboration?

The authors simply make an extravagant claim they cannot back up.

Furthermore as a web editor looking for practical pointers, the news that the staff at Geek Squad are encouraged to spend all day on online games simply isn't helpful to me. They live in a specialised world and nothing the authors write has convinced me that my own workplace would benefit from me and my colleagues playing online games. Again, the authors' examples don't represent EVERYTHING, they represent life in parts of California, London, Bangalore and a handful of other places.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Guy on 2 Mar 2010
Format: Hardcover
My expectations: a profound book with insights on how mass collaboration changes "everything". Due to the high rating, I expected it worth reading.
What I got: a shallow, extremely (!) poorly structured book which touches an important trend. Some good (and thoroughly repeated) examples, even enlightening ones, many quotes type CEO-bla-bla. But the book suffers from too many repetitions and no real punchline. A balanced, critical discussion about the importance of wikinomics is absent, the authors seem totally in love with their creation "wikinomics" and loose their critical sense.
This book could and should be condensed to 20 pages (it's over 300 pages long!) without substantial loss of content.

All this being said: If you are interested in the web, "wikinomics", open source, and related trends, you are looking in the wrong place. There must be something better, but I do not yet know one yet. In a different book, "Hackers and Painters", by Paul Graham, there are a couple of pages where the author touches these topics: much more enlightening. Graham's book is brilliant, thoroughly readable, though technical in some chapters, and provides you with INSIGHT. It's not meant to touch the same topic as "Wikinomics", but the few pages where there is overlap are so much better...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Printul Noptilor on 15 Dec 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book shows how value can be created by people's unpaid cooperation on the Internet. At first, the authors explain the idea behind Wikipedia - an online encyclopedia created by a huge number of voluntary unpaid contributors. Wikipedia is amazing indeed. Me, I still can't understand how they can prevent vandals from destroying articles, but the thing obviously works and if there ever is any damage done, it somehow gets repaired quickly enough. I also tried to contribute to an article once, but it was so complicated that I gave it up for good. But apparently there are enough people who have the patience to get familiar with the technical part of the website. Anyway, Wikipedia is a crystal-clear proof that if the community is large enough, great things can achieved by using nothing but voluntary work.

The authors bring examples of the same principle working in business. Some kind of a mining company had a huge amount of raw data which might have indicated probable locations of some mineral resources. Unfortunately, they had no capacity to process so much information. Then they got the idea of publishing the raw data on the Internet and asking people all over the world to try and make sense of it. It turned out that among all the people in the world, there were enough volunteers who did the work for the company just for fun.

At first, I found the book exciting like a thriller. It gave me some very valuable information, as well as lots of interesting thoughts. Halfway through the book, however, I grew so bored that I quit reading.
There were three reasons to that.

1.
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