Wikinomics: More Than Open Source Mumbo-Jumbo

In mid-2000, while I was still working for Quepasa.com, I wrote an article titled “The rules for the new economy: are they really new?” It was the period of “irrational exuberance” and business that made no business sense whatsoever could get money from investors like there was no tomorrow. So, the conclusion of the article was pretty much that the business rules at the time had not really changed.

In 2007, I find myself having finished the fascinating book Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams and I feel it can be said that the rules of the new economy are in the process of changing indeed.

It’s hard to argue against the principles of wikinomics: being open, peering, sharing and acting globally. Or, otherwise put, opening doors to others, adopting standards and sharing information, so as to take advantage of the power of the networked world, as opposed to depending solely on internal resources. If this sounds all like idealist open source mumbo jumbo, consider Innocentive, a web-based platform that acts as a sort of eBay broker between scientists and companies in need of solving real world R&D problems, a true real-life initiative that embodies the principes laid out in the book.

I recommend Wikinomics to those who loved The World is Flat but felt that the book’s political bias occasionally got in the way of the delivery of its message. Wikinomics focuses on the impact of recent technologies on the way business need to conduct themselves for the future, if they want to thrive.