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Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business Paperback – 15 Sep 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 311 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (CA) (15 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307396215
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307396211
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,466,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"While small groups have often been the foundation of great performance--think SWAT teams and Skunk Works--Jeff Howe has made the compelling case for the power of far larger communities of interest. He shows in "Crowdsourcing"--with rich illustrations from Google and InnoCentive to Threadless and Wikipedia--that the right community with the right incentives can often invent, write, and run research and business initiatives more effectively and less expensively than traditional enterprise."
--Michael Useem, professor of management and director of the Leadership Center at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and author of "The Go Point: When It's Time to Decide" and "The Leadership Moment"
"Beyond the wisdom of crowds is the work of crowds, a powerful and transformative source of creativity and an economic engine that defies traditional rules. Jeff Howe's guide to crowdsourcing--to use his perfect coinage--is insightful, fun, and indispensable to those who want to understand, or participate in, this amazing phenomenon."
--Steven Levy, author of "Hackers" and "The Perfect Thing"
"Jeff Howe has captured a complex and vital change in the business landscape: in the next few years, your customers could become your collaborators, or your competitors. His ability to weave story and strategy together makes "Crowdsourcing "a readable and indispensable guide to this new world."
--Clay Shirky, author of "Here Comes Everybody"

"From the Hardcover edition."

"An informed and enthusiastic guide to the new collaborative creativity."
"Times" (London)
"A welcome and well-written corporate playbook for confusing times."
"BusinessWeek"
"An engaging mix of business, sociology, organizational theory, and technology writing and fits the mold of Malcolm Gladwell s perennial bestseller, "The Tipping Point.""
"Newsweek
"
While small groups have often been the foundation of great performance think SWAT teams and Skunk Works Jeff Howe has made the compelling case for the power of far larger communities of interest. He shows in "Crowdsourcing" with rich illustrations from Google and InnoCentive to Threadless and Wikipedia that the right community with the right incentives can often invent, write, and run research and business initiatives more effectively and less expensively than traditional enterprise.
Michael Useem, professor of management and director of the Leadership Center at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and author of "The Go Point: When It s Time to Decide" and "The Leadership Moment"
Beyond the wisdom of crowds is the work of crowds, a powerful and transformative source of creativity and an economic engine that defies traditional rules. Jeff Howe s guide to crowdsourcing to use his perfect coinage is insightful, fun, and indispensable to those who want to understand, or participate in, this amazing phenomenon.
Steven Levy, author of "Hackers" and "The Perfect Thing "
Jeff Howe has captured a complex and vital change in the business landscape: in the next few years, your customers could become your collaborators, or your competitors. His ability to weave story and strategy together makes "Crowdsourcing "a readable and indispensable guide to this new world.
Clay Shirky, author of "Here Comes Everybody"

"From the Hardcover edition.""

About the Author

JEFF HOWE is a contributing editor at "Wired" magazine, where he covers the entertainment industry among other subjects. Before coming to "Wired "he was a senior editor at Inside.com and a writer at the "Village Voice." In his fifteen years as a journalist, he has traveled around the world working on stories ranging from the impending water crisis in Central Asia to the implications of gene patenting. He has also written for "U.S. News & World Report, " "Time "magazine, the "Washington Post," "Mother Jones," and numerous other publications. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and children.

"From the Hardcover edition."


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Format: Hardcover
If you have been paying close attention to the subject of crowd sourcing, this book will contain few surprises. But you just might pick up an insight or two that will make the book of much value. That was my experience.

While much of the book covered things I know in more detail than Jeff Howe describes, I began to see connections between how one aspect of crowd sourcing could be combined with other aspects to make more progress more rapidly. I intend to apply those insights into my global project for increasing the rate of global improvements by 20 times.

Ultimately, crowd sourcing's significance is determined in the battle between the tendency of crowds to contain wisdom and the average results of crowds to be lousy. If you use crowd sourcing to get lots of ideas, you also need to rely a lot on crowd sourcing to get rid of the junk.

Although Mr. Howe claims to be taking a journalist's approach to the subject, he comes across as more of an advocate than an observer. In particular, he fails to capture the ways that prolific production of content can overwhelm the accuracy of crowd sourcing votes. Highly ranked contributions often reflect popularity and the crowd's agreement with the conclusions more than the quality of the production. As a result, you can often end up with something that looks like what a lot of undisciplined teenagers would produce.

Yet, even that problem can be solved by adding a layer of expert evaluation to the more popular entries. He mentions that point in passing, but misses its significance.

For a book that aims to describe the fundamentals of how crowd sourcing will be used by business, the conclusion section is pretty limited and abstract.
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