Meetings of the Minds

wikinomics3001.jpg  Wikipedia defines a “wiki” as “software that allows users to create, edit, and link web pages easily.”  It goes on to say, “Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites.”  “Wikinomics” makes the case for a new way of doing business–the economics of mass collaboration through “community websites.”  These online venues for meetings of the minds have changed “how goods and services are invented, produced, marketed, and distributed on a global basis.”  These “wiki” websites create opportunities to bring together the best and the brightest minds from all over the world around specific tasks (software, programs, challenges).  By organizations sharing (“opening”) their information (or intellectual property) and their challenges, they can invite continued feedback and solutions.  While some IP should be protected, “Wikinomics” says that sharing is “often the best way to build vibrant business ecosystems that harness a shared foundation of technology and knowledge to accelerate growth and innovation.”  This open source method of collaboration leads to successful and efficient outsourcing (less is more–no additional staff and minimal cost).

 “Wikinomics” espouses four principles: “openness, peering, sharing and acting globally” for mass collaboration.  Each principle is meant to be all-encompassing–i.e., “Open” in addition to being honest, means transparent and accessible.   “Peering” creates opportunities for people to “self-organize to design goods or services, create knowledge, or simply produce dynamic, shared experiences.”  “Sharing” opens avenues to companies’ intellectual property (IP) that otherwise would be restricted.  “The power of sharing is not limited to intellectual property.  It extends to other resources such as  puting power, bandwidth, content and scientific knowledge.”  And “Acting Globally” summarizes the goal of having “no physical or regional boundaries.”  “It pays to have global capabilities–including truly global workforces, unified global processes, and a global IT platform to enhance collaboration among all of the parts of the business as well as the company’s web of external partners.”

After laying out the principles for mass collaboration, “Wikinomics” introduces the seven models of mass collaboration.

  • Peer Pioneers
  • Ideagoras
  • Prosumers
  • New Alexandrians
  • Platforms for Participation
  • Global Plant Floor
  • Wiki Workplace

Each of these models discusses how different types of people in various industries can come together under one umbrella (“community”) to collaborate—“providing a myriad of ways to harness external knowledge, resources, and talent for greater competitiveness and growth.”  Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams argue that companies should embrace these methods of mass collaboration stating that, “Managers should treat wikinomics as their playbook and harness its core principles to achieve success.”  They say that companies should “have open and porous boundaries.”  This is indeed a new way of doing business–but with the success achieved by Linux followed by Goldcorp, IBM, TakingItGlobal, Wikipedia, and Lego Mindstorm (to name just a few), corporations may begin to embrace this global, open-source method of mass collaboration that Tapscott and Williams call “Wikinomics.”


~ by eTechnorize on February 19, 2008.

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