Nordic Track Book Club Review: Wikinomics

I was looking forward to reading Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything after skimming through it at our local Barnes and Noble. Authors Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams wrote about the new collaborative Web and how businesses can benefit from tapping into that collaborative creation process. Yes, they talked about Wikipedia a bit, but really very little. Maybe because I read other books similar to this theme lately and didn’t think I gained as many insights as I anticipated, I’m only giving this 3 out of 5 [NordicTrack] Stars. Still an enjoyable read. Recommended.


p.12 Knowledge, power and productive capability will be more dispersed than at any time in our history, a world where value creation will be fast, fluid and persistently disruptive. A power shift is underway. A tough new business rule is emerging. Harness the new collaboration or perish.

p.21 To ensure they remain at the forefront of their industries, companies must increasingly open their doors to the global talent pool that thrives outside their walls.

p.36 It’s an ethic that defines what the new web is becoming: a massive playground of information bits that are shared and remixed openly into a fluid and participatory tapestry. The web is now the foundation for new dynamic forms of community and creative expression. The new web is principally about participating rather than about passively receiving information.

Flickr provides the basic technology, platform and free hosting for photos. Users do everything else.

Say hello to a web that increasingly looks like a library full of chatty components that interact and talk to one another.

Looking back, the losers launched websites, the winners launched vibrant communities. The losers built walled gardens. The winners built public squares. The losers innovated internally. The winners innovated with their users. The losers jealously guarded their data and software interfaces. The winners shared them with everyone.

p.44 Relationships, after all, are the one thing you can’t commoditize.

p.47 While their parents are passive consumers of media, youth today are active creators of media content and hungry for interaction.

p.67 Companies that recognize, address and learn to tap peer production will learn to benefit, while those who ignore and resist will miss important opportunities for innovation and cost reduction, and may even go out of business.

p.82 In most cases, attaching yourself to existing movements that have momentum will create the best results. Do not abandon vertical integration and hierarchy. Instead, integrate propriety and open source models.

p.85 If the open source upstarts manage to get a toehold, there will be profound consequences for incumbent software vendors whose business models rest on the whopping fees firms pay to license enterprise solutions.


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A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.