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Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything [Hardcover]

Don Tapscott , Anthony Williams
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Book Description

12 July 2007
The knowledge, resources, and computing power of billions of people are self-organizing into a massive new collective force. Interconnected and orchestrated through blogs, wikis, chat rooms, peer-to-peer networks, and personal broadcasting, the Web is being reinvented to provide the first global platform for collaboration in history. "Wikinomics" is the definitive investigation into how small businesses can achieve success by using a dynamic ecosystem of partners to co-create and peer-produce value in this newly-emerging, networked economy. Encouraging consumers, employees, suppliers, partners and competitors alike to share information and ideas, mass collaboration marks a profound change in the way business is conducted and radically alters the future of corporate architecture, strategy and management.

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 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 521,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
By Anon
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great information, very poor writing 15 Dec 2009
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.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't do what it says on the cover 11 Sep 2008
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Humorously over the top 21 Aug 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book takes what is, at times, a comically breathlessly enthusiastic view on how the future is being changed by a culture of mass collaboration, but I don't personally feel that the shift is quite so fundamental as is being indicated. On the whole, it's an entertaining read, but more for the concrete examples of mass collaboration in industry rather than the central thesis of the book, which is 'Hold on to your hats!'.

Some of the examples of mass collaboration cited as fundamental paradigm shifts strike me as incremental shifts at best - chief amongst these, the example of GoldCorp who opened up their geological data to everyone and as a result netted a huge windfall of information that led to the identification of new, rich seams of gold in a mine that was about to be closed. It's interesting, yes, but I feel nothing revolutionary. The GoldCorp situation says more 'competition' than 'collaboration' to me - effectively GoldCorp ran a competition in which they said 'Find us some gold, win a prize!'. None of the mechanisms that lead to mass collaboration as a genuinely new phenomenon are present in a number of the examples given.

The book is sparesely sourced, but contains interviews (or at least, soundbites) with a number of very prominent figures in the computing industry and other areas. Some of these people are pioneers in some of the emergent ideas that, in my opinion, indicate collaboration as a paradigm shift.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, still relevant
Very good overview for managers and decision makers that are considering wether building genuine engagement with their customers is a good think or not
Published 2 months ago by lumar
4.0 out of 5 stars a good book
The book include a lot interesting examples, although provide a more positive review about digital economy. It happen before the year of 2006. Some examples are slightly old.
Published 3 months ago by qian
5.0 out of 5 stars A game changer!
This book was slated! But it is intelligently written with multiple ideas from different industries where giving stuff away isi generating profit for those companies. Read more
Published 14 months ago by K. Browne
5.0 out of 5 stars Wikinomics
Excellent quality and arrived on time! No marks or damages on the book. I would certainly buy from the same shipper again! Read more
Published on 6 Dec 2011 by PEL
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and relevant book
As a Business & Technology Writer, I need to keep abreast of what is happening in business and technology. Read more
Published on 12 Sep 2011 by Joe Figueiredo
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the Modern Way
This is the most interesting technology book I've ever read. It's quite simply different gravy. I read it twice because it was so interesting. Read more
Published on 15 Aug 2011 by Mr. D. J. Bennett
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent overview of an ever evolving business phenomenom
An insightful examination of the effect of mass collaboration upon the evolving world of business and information that covers some obvious and well known fields such as Wikipedia,... Read more
Published on 27 May 2011 by A. J. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars The future of economics
That the nature of work, collaboration, and other economic activities is changing very rapidly these days is indisputable. Read more
Published on 10 April 2011 by Dr. Bojan Tunguz
2.0 out of 5 stars Wikinomics, its a rose tinted view
An interesting book I'll say that, it does give you something to think about but its mainly all the stuff that Don has left out. Read more
Published on 14 Feb 2011 by Gavin Stokes
4.0 out of 5 stars Collaborate, research new technologies and evaluate 'software' wars
I found this book interesting to read as it showed the power of collaboration and open source software. Read more
Published on 8 Nov 2010 by M. Ahmed
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