I recently finished reading Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams. It is an excellent primer on the (not-so-new) paradigm of collaboration including wikis, open source, ideagoras, peer-production and truly global corporations.
I was recently asked what could be a better system for improving products than unregulated, free-market, winner-take-all, every-man-for-himself, amoral (and often immoral), profits-above-all-else capitalistic competition. The answer, of course, is collaboration (they are not mutually exclusive). Today, from Flickr to Boeing to Firefox to BMW, collaborative enterprises are improving our world and creating the products we love.
I highly recommend this book to anybody interested in business, economics or the twenty-first century.
From the website:
In the last few years, traditional collaboration—in a meeting room, a conference call, even a convention center—has been superceded by collaborations on an astronomical scale.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 primer on 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 the key forces driving competitiveness in the twenty-first century.
Based on a $9 million research project led by bestselling author Don Tapscott, Wikinomics shows how the 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, and even building motorcycles.