Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything


In just the last few years, traditional collaboration—in a meeting room, a conference call, even a convention center—has been superseded by collaborations on an astronomical scale.

Today, encyclopedias, jetliners, operating systems, mutual funds, and many other items are being created by teams numbering in the thousands or even millions. While some leaders fear the heaving growth of these massive online communities, Wikinomics proves this fear is folly. Smart firms can harness ...

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Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything

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In just the last few years, traditional collaboration—in a meeting room, a conference call, even a convention center—has been superseded by collaborations on an astronomical scale.

Today, encyclopedias, jetliners, operating systems, mutual funds, and many other items are being created by teams numbering in the thousands or even millions. While some leaders fear the heaving growth of these massive online communities, Wikinomics proves this fear is folly. Smart firms can harness collective capability and genius to spur innovation, growth, and success.

A brilliant guide to one of the most profound changes of our time, Wikinomics challenges our most deeply rooted assumptions about business and will prove indispensable to anyone who wants to understand competitiveness in the twenty-first century.

Based on a $9 million research project led by bestselling author Don Tapscott, Wikinomics shows how masses of people can participate in the economy like never before. They are creating TV news stories, sequencing the human genome, remixing their favorite music, designing software, finding a cure for disease, editing school texts, inventing new cosmetics, or even building motorcycles. You'll read about:

—Rob McEwen, the Goldcorp, Inc., CEO who used open source tactics and an online competition to save his company and breathe new life into an old-fashioned industry.

—Flickr, Second Life, YouTube, and other thriving online communities that transcend social networking to pioneer a new form of collaborative production.

—Mature companies like Procter & Gamble that cultivate nimble, trust-based relationships with external collaborators to form vibrant business ecosystems.

An important look into the future, Wikinomics will be your road map for doing business in the twenty-first century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Sklar is a sophisticated reader whose well-known voice is a smooth platform for the authors' case studies of innovative information sharing…. Sklar provides an engaging reading that will make listeners excited." —-AudioFile
Library Journal

Tapscott (management, Univ. of Toronto; The Digital Economy) and Williams give readers a thoughtful look into the future through their study of the collaborative environment that has revolutionized business today. Tapscott's New Paradigm think tank, where Williams works as research director, sought out companies and individuals having a significant impact on industries based on their openness, peer production, information sharing, and global action. The result is a forward-looking economic model wherein connected individuals engage with companies in web-based communities to embrace a new art and science of productivity and innovation called wikinomics. The authors discuss several Web 2.0 applications and the need for open-source software and open-access publishing to achieve success. In-depth profiles of companies and individuals make the book helpful for all types of businesses. The book was even written in a collaborative spirit, as the authors polled the public for suggestions on the subtitle through an online forum and encouraged readers to participate in blogs and wikis pertaining to the book. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.
—Mark McCallon, Abilene Christian Univ. Lib., TX

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400154159
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: MP3 - Unabridged CD
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Anthony D. Williams is a research director at New Paradigm, a think tank and strategy consulting company.

Alan Sklar is the winner of several AudioFile Earphones Awards and a multiple finalist for the APA's prestigious Audie Award. Named a Best Voice of 2009 by AudioFile magazine, his work has twice earned him a Booklist Editors' Choice Award, a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award, and Audiobook of the Year by ForeWord magazine.

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 15, 2012

    on the grid

    The world has increasingly become a much smaller place. The internet and information age has merged the whole world onto one plane as Friedman writes about as he describes in living in a “flat world”.
    Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams delve into this question of an open source world in their book. What is interesting about reading this work that was published in 2006, how the issues identified have only magnified.
    I also find it striking that within that short period My Space was the social media boom and now Facebook dominates, which some predict has a valuation of 100 billion dollars.
    This book weaves concepts that will enable the reader to better understand the importance of collaboration in the new global information based society.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2011

    Informative, but difficult to read

    For my book posting I read Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams. This book was challenging for me to read because it is not my normal type of book and the writing style of the author makes it difficult to sit down and read a lot of it at once, but I did find it very informative. This book came out in 2006 right around the time where we were starting to expand our world into more of a virtual era, and Wikinomics talks about how to be a successful business in this era you need to start expanding in a different way, or else you are going to end up with the same business as someone else and eventually fail. By advancing and doing these new innovative things within a business, you have a better chance of success. I am an up and coming teacher, and can apply this to education because some schools are cutting out Friday classes and moving towards online instruction. Already in college, I have had multiple online classes, so I have experienced this first-hand. The web is moving from just something you can view to something with collaboration and where you can talk to other people.

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  • Posted January 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The future of economics

    That the nature of work, collaboration, and other economic activities is changing very rapidly these days is indisputable. However, it is not immediately clear to everyone what are the forces that are driving this change and what sorts of effects it may have. This book tries to answer these and many other questions in the realm of how the latest advances in various information tools are enabling the radical shift in collaborative production. It is a very readable book aimed at the general audience. The fact that it doesn't delve too deeply into the technical details (like the "Long Tail, The, Revised and Updated Edition: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More") may be a plus, as this way it may be more suitable to appeal to the wider readership base. Overall, it is an interesting read if you are not familiar with the general trends in open and collaborative economy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2008

    Good Topic, Poorly Delivered

    The authors of this book have a very important topic to discuss and there is some value to be gained by reading this book. The problem is that the authors writing style is lacking and it makes reading the book a bit of a trial. As with many authors writing about Web 2.0 concepts and innovation Tapscott and Williams are overly optimistic about the results from using the concepts they espouse. To be sure, there are some companies that have tried these measures and have met with little success ... any business book worth its salt needs to provide a complete picture to get an honest appraisal of new methods. Discussing the disadvantages of these methods 'how they impact overall employment in this country especially for lower wage jobs and the significant impact on our copyright laws' would have been welcome. Maybe that was in there, but I found myself skimming some sections because the authors have a habit of repeating themselves over and over again ... making the same points ad-nauesum. You get the sense that there is some serious meat missing from this meal and the authors admit that in the preface ... this book was an outgrowth of a major study they did on behalf of a consortium of big companies. Unfortunately, they weren't allowed to include what was in that report and it shows.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2007

    A reviewer

    Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams have created a new guide to the modern way of economics, known as Wikinomics. Through Wikinomics we are seeing forms of mass collaboration on a global scale that are continually changing and re-shaping the Economy. I thought this book did a very in-depth look at many examples of Wikinomics and how it is in use in today¿s businesses from gold mining and chemistry, to the web and beyond. This book also inflates some ideas of Wikinomics to an extreme and may not take in all of the critiques that they should, yet they do prove many good points about mass collaboration and how it is used today. I believe after reading this book that Wikinomics will change many business principals, and the way we do business all together. From Wikies to Heavy Industry we see Wikinomics in use to a global extent, with the art of mass collaboration I believe that Wikinomics will be adopted as a major business rule.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2007


    Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams have created a very in depth review of open source and mass collaboration explaining how it is effecting the modern economy, relating it to file sharing, gold mining, or the war between operating systems such as Windows versus Linux. In this ever changing world ideas such as openly sharing your company's secrets may benefit you. Or maybe it is best to bond with other companies and form many allies, all of which is examined and explained in this book. Although there are several points within the book where the authors are a bit biased they are able validate their points and still explain both sides of the argument. It is my belief that reading this book will benefit anyone that has a slight interest in economics or the business world so that they may understand the risks that may take and how it will potentially affect them in the long run.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2007

    A reviewer

    I found that Wikinomics was a well-written, informative book about the coming of age of the internet. Its basic point is that the internet is becoming absolutely free, with books, social networking, encyclopedias and others operate for free with help from unpaid individuals. For instance, Wikinomics mentions that BMW opened all of the code for its computers in its car and freelance computer coders fixed, updated and improved the code for the cars. It implies that businesses should work like internet forums, allowing input from non-employees to make better innovations and products, at the risk of displaying your business model to competitors. It's a balance, however, to decide whether to hold your inner-business secret and recieve no outside help, or to display everything and hopefully recieve outside input.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2007

    A reviewer

    The first few chapters were the best for me. Once the author's got into descriptions of what large corporations did/didn't do regarding the impact of Web 2.0 on their industry/business I lost interest. There are nuggets of significant value in the book, but I got bored trying to find them. The last chapter offers the reader an opportunity to join their 'wiki' on wikinomics which I might take them up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2007

    a reviewer

    Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams have written an intriguing, necessary and, in some ways, groundbreaking book, which we recommend to everyone...with some caveats. The authors examine the possibilities of mass collaboration, open-source software and evolutionary business practices. They integrate examples from the arts ('mashups'), scholarship (Wikipedia) and even heavy industry (gold mining) to argue that new forces are reshaping human societies. Some of their examples will be familiar, but others will surprise and educate you. However, the authors are so deeply part of the world they discuss that they may inflate it at times - for instance, making the actions of a few enthusiasts sound as if they already have transformed the Internet - and they sometimes fail to provide definitions or supporting data. Is the 'blogosphere,' for example, really making members of the younger generation into more critical thinkers? Tapscott and Williams repeatedly dismiss criticisms of their claims or positions without answering them. The result is that the book reads at times like a guidebook, at times like a manifesto and at times like a cheerleading effort for the world the authors desire. It reads, in short, like the Wikipedia they so admire: a valuable, exciting experiment that still contains a few flaws.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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