The one-sentence summary
If you want a truly interesting creative idea, try asking the audience that cares about it most.
WHAT THE BOOK SAYS
- For the first time we have the tools to make group action a reality, and they’re going to change the world. The book has a number of main tenets:
- Sharing anchors communities
- Everyone is now a media outlet – they can publish, then filter
- Personal motivation leads to collaborative production
- Collective action creates institutional challenges
- Everything is getting faster and faster
- Failure now costs nothing (most ideas are bad, but it is now cheaper to try something)
- Management challenges grow faster than organisational size, so more is different.
- Sending an email is now a kind of publishing, which has the power to bring down companies.
- In answer to those who claim that much on the Internet is unedited rubbish, much of what gets posted is in public, but not for the public.
- We used to do little things for love, and big things for money – now we can do big things for love.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT
- The Birthday Paradox shows that we have a poor grasp of probability. What are the chances of 2 people in a group of 36 sharing a birthday? You’d think it would be 36 divided by 365 days, yielding 1 in 10, but there are actually 600 possible pairs of birthdays in a group of 36 (80% chance).
- Most of the barriers to group action have now collapsed. So have transaction costs, which throws the original work of Ronald Coase (see Wikinomics) into confusion.
- The Tragedy of the Commons is where each shepherd can see that all would benefit from restraint (not overgrazing), the odds are against it because the whole arrangement falls apart if just one person is selfish.
- Social awareness has three levels:
When everybody knows something
When everybody knows that everybody knows
When everybody knows that everybody knows that everybody knows
- The fitness landscape is a metaphorical area in which, for any problem or goal, there is a vast array of possibilities to explore but only a few valuable spots to discover. Companies tend to stick with the early, obvious ones.
WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH
- It is fairly long and detailed so you have to dig hard for the nuggets.
- Much of the material echoes the contents of Wikinomics.