What a bad audio book. The author put together self-promoting material with very little content. The pointers are shallow without much content. Although I got this audio book for free, it was not worth the hour spent listening to it. Save yourself an hour...
If you want to understand the reasons behind irrational behaviour, "Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely" is a much better choice.
The authors of "Sway" preferred storytelling to detailed explanation to explain irrational behaviours. Although their stories are mildly entertaining, they lack the depth and details of Ariely's book. Unless you are looking for superficial answers to irrational behaviours, I would recommend you invest a few more hours in reading Ariely's book and get a much better understanding.
If you have read Groundswell, Wikinomics, and the Wisdom of Crowds, this book repeats some of the concepts that were well described in those books. Crowdsourcing is a good book and provides plenty of background and detailed explanations around some of the well known "crowdsourced" companies such as threadless.com, topcoder.com, istockphoto.com, and a few others.
The basic concepts are as follows:
- there are 1 billion internet users with anywhere between 2 to 6 hours to spend per day;
- there is a large portion of the population that is over-qualified for their day job and as such are looking for ways to use their skills;
- combine these facts with a drastic decrease of the cost of technology and increased power of technology and the possibilities are endless;
- most importantly 'amateurs' can now compete on the same ground as professionals in many fields;
- as an organization, you cannot control what the crowd will do - the crowd decides what it will work on. The community will work on project of their interest;
- you should start a crowdsourcing project with the intend to make money BUT you may end up making money as a consequence of collaborating with the crowd.
Overall, we are only seeing the beginning of crowsourcing.
It is commonly believed that people become successful after "working hard" for a long time and then success happens! Although hard work is a success factor, there are many other variables that have much more influence on success. Gladwell presents real life stories and much background to demonstrate that success mostly come from factors such as: when someone is born, their "ethnicity", their family heritage, their geographic location, and circumstances (i.e. luck). Some or all of these factors combined with hard work made individuals or groups of people highly successful. His examples are great and support his key message.
Although the book doesn't tell what someone needs to do to become successful, it certainly shows that after the fact there are some obvious trends that explain why people were indeed successful.
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