Wikinomics | Don Tapscott

Summary of: Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything
By: Don Tapscott


Welcome to the captivating world of ‘Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything’ by Don Tapscott. In this summary, we will explore how the internet has revolutionized the way we cooperate and communicate, breaking barriers and giving access to information that was once exclusive to certain elites. We will learn the principles of successful mass collaboration, the keys to making it work, and the benefits it can bring to companies and society as a whole. Along the way, you will be guided through examples like Wikipedia, Goldcorp Inc., and more that showcase how mass collaboration has reshaped traditional ways of conducting business and created a more interconnected world.

The Power of Mass Collaboration

The internet has revolutionized our ability to collaborate on a global scale. Easy access to information technologies has leveled the playing field, allowing for active participation in areas once reserved for elites. Mass collaboration, like the example of Goldcorp Inc., is becoming a key feature of the internet. From Wikipedia to social media, users are encouraged to co-create content. Companies are adapting to treat their customers as co-creators instead of mere observers. Collaboration today involves self-organized participation of many individuals, much like a swarm of bees. The next part will bring order to this seeming chaos.

The Keys to Successful Mass Collaboration

Successful mass collaborations require openness, peering, sharing, and unified global action. Linden Labs’ Second Life exemplifies openness, while Wikipedia showcases peering and self-correction. Sharing resources and information is exemplified through Skype and gtalk, while General Motors failed to act globally. Companies must embrace these principles to thrive in the future.

The Power and Risks of Mass Collaboration

The growth of open markets and emerging forces like China and India have made it difficult for companies to survive without mass collaboration. In fact, the principles of mass collaboration not only help companies develop better products but also market them efficiently. The key to innovation lies in the diversity and motivation of the contributors, not just their numbers. Mass collaboration also involves peer production and the use of “general public licenses,” which speed up the progress of projects. However, adopting mass collaboration comes with risks that companies must be cautious about. The book emphasizes that companies that fail to adopt mass collaboration will not be able to keep up with competitors and lose customer interest. Overall, the message is clear: mass collaboration is a powerful tool that companies must embrace in order to thrive in the global market.

Risks of Mass Collaboration

Mass collaboration offers several benefits, but it also comes with inherent risks. Companies must invest time, energy, and resources to find the right ideas and partners, which can be especially challenging in underdeveloped markets. Competitors may also take advantage of the same ideas before a collaboration is established. Additionally, offering incentives to use someone else’s idea can be difficult for start-ups and small businesses. Mass collaboration also carries the risk of losing control over a product, and external partners may not have the same credibility or work ethics as in-house employees. Companies must approach mass collaboration with a strategy and awareness of these risks.

Balancing Intellectual Property and Collaboration

Intellectual property is crucial for commercial success, but companies must balance safeguards with openness to collaborate effectively. The Human Genome Project is a remarkable example of collaboration. Companies can also benefit from external resources and active consumers, known as “prosumers.” By using these resources, companies can safeguard their products while still being able to collaborate effectively. Famous shoemaker John Fluevog is an example of a company that benefited from external resources and consumer-friendly strategies that improved his reputation within the customer community.

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