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

3.7 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (12 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843546361
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843546368
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 3.1 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 722,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

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

Book Description

An International Bestseller. An Economist Book of the Year. A Financial Times Book of the Year. Shortlisted for the Financial Times Business Book of the Year. Repackaged for paperback. Wikinomics shows how businesses can collaborate creatively with their customers to succeed in the age of Wikipedia, YouTube and Linux: 'The Number 1 must-read... A breathtaking piece of work.' Tom Peters. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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