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Business Strategy Finance Library

Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything

Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams (2006)

Why Read It?

  • Examines the emergence of online mass collaboration, ideas sharing, and peer production, and discusses the future potential.

  • Collaboration is changing the way traditional business operates and transforming the economy in unpredictable ways.

  • Looks at how companies can access more expert knowledge through idea markets, and develop new capabilities.

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Getting Started

Wikinomics argues for a new way of working that is collaborative and ideas driven. A wiki is software that allows anyone with access to a computer to create, edit, and link webpages, and is part of the development in which users of the web generate content.

The book discusses current collaborations to produce collective results and examines the possibilities of mass collaboration, open-source software, and new innovative working practices.

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Don Tapscott (b. 1947) is chief executive and founder of New Paradigm, a think-tank and strategy consulting company. He teaches at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, and is the author of a number of books on business strategy and the digital economy.

Anthony D. Williams has been writing about trends in technology and society for over a decade. He advises Fortune 500 firms and international institutions, including the World Bank. He holds a masters in research from the London School of Economics and is vice president and executive editor at New Paradigm.

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  • Discusses the new web approach, where sites such as MySpace, YouTube, and Flickr allow mass collaboration from participants in the online community.

  • Examines the success of Wikipedia, the user-edited online encyclopedia that is the main example of online collaborative efforts.

  • Provides ideas on how to apply wiki frameworks in your daily business.

  • Shows how you can expand your business capabilities and deliver value using collective intelligence.

  • Analyzes why it isn’t possible to apply traditional business techniques to the internet, but that new strategies are needed to accommodate change to the way organizations are run.

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  • Proposes that sharing your company’s dealings with the online community is good for its health and future progress.

  • Provides detail on how communities are being formed, and how individuals share ideas and intelligence, accelerate new product development, and efficiently create new revenue streams.

  • Discusses business benefits such as the reduced transaction costs possible with mass collaboration, and the new business models benefiting from openness, peering, sharing, and acting globally.

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As a growing number of firms come see the benefits of mass collaboration, this new way of organizing will eventually displace the traditional corporate structures as the economy’s primary engine of wealth creation.

The web is now the foundation for new dynamic forms of community and creative expression.

[Mass collaboration is] a new way for people to socialize, entertain, innovate, and transact in self-organizing peer-to-peer communities of their choosing.

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Further reading


  • Locke, Christopher, Rick Levine, and Doc Searls. The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books, 2000. How businesses should embrace new collaborative methods of communication.
  • Sunstein, Cass R. Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. How to share information and improve our lives.
  • Tapscott, Don. Digital Economy: Promise and Peril in the Age of Networked Intelligence. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996. A review of the state of technology innovation at the time.

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