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Publisher's Summary

In just the last few years, traditional collaboration in a meeting room, on a conference call, and even in a convention center has been superseded by collaborations on an astronomical scale.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 burgeoning 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 guide to 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 competitiveness in the 21st century.

Based on a $9-million research project led by best-selling author Don Tapscott, Wikinomics shows how masses of people can participate in the economy like never before. They are creating TV news stories, sequencing genomes, remixing their favorite music, designing software, finding cures for disease, editing school texts, inventing new cosmetics, and even building motorcycles. You'll read about:

  • Rob McEwen, the Goldcorp, Inc., CEO who used open-source tactics and an online competition to save his company and breathe new life into an old-fashioned industry.
  • Flickr, Second Life, YouTube, and other thriving online communities that transcend social networking to pioneer a new form of collaborative production.
  • Mature companies, like Procter & Gamble, that cultivate nimble, trust-based relationships with external collaborators to form vibrant business ecosystems.

    An important look into the future, Wikinomics will be your road map for doing business in the 21st century.
  • ©2006 Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.

    Critic Reviews

    "A clear and exciting preview of how peer innovation will change everything." (Booklist)
    "This clear and meticulously researched primer gives business leaders big leg up on mass collaboration possibilities." (Publishers Weekly)

    What members say

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    • Overall
      2 out of 5 stars

    Editor please

    This book contains some interesting concepts to which I was happy to be introduced and some great stories, mostly from the worlds of business and academia, that illustrate and flesh out the concepts. It is also, unfortunately, tedious and repetitive. A good editor could shorten it by half and vastly improve it by doing so.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
      2 out of 5 stars


    The content of the book is excellent, especially for executives not really clued into the wikiness of the tech world. But the narrator, who has a beautiful and strong speaking voice, is so forceful with every sentence, one would think the book is a series of proclamations on how wiki will save the world. As a result the book's message and content began to seem redundant after Chapter 2. Less would have been more in this case.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
      1 out of 5 stars
    • Dan
    • Fairfax, VA, USA
    • 05-14-07

    sadly, a disappointment

    I was expecting a lot more from this book. If you're looking for something insightful and interesting to listen to, I would suggest either "Freakonomics" or "The World is Flat".

    "Wikinomics" blathers on and on about an open-source revolution, and companies that do not embrace the open-source movement will ultimately lose out. I personally would like to believe this, and perhaps there is evidence to really support this general claim, but you will not find it in this book. The author does point out wikipedia and linux and a few other success stories, but these are already very well documented; the author would have you believe he's really pulling back the curtains to show you a world out there that people don't already know about.

    The narrator isn't the best, but even an amazing narrator couldn't make this book interesting. The tone of the book is often preachy. This author will not keep your interest beyond the opening passage. A very dull and uninspired book.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
      1 out of 5 stars
    • Rob
    • Ottawa, ON, Canada
    • 05-03-07

    Nothing new here

    Absolutely nothing new here. Tapscott seems to wait for the latest trends to pass and then writes about them as if they are new. If you've heard of Flickr, YouTube or Facebook, you already know what's in this book.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
      2 out of 5 stars

    Not as good as expected

    I heard the author speak at a conference recently and he was/is a super speaker, but this book.....

    I am half way through the book now and am finding it a bit slow and heavy on words and opinions but light on examples and cases. There's certainly some good stuff in the material, I was just expecting more.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Tom G
    • Montreal, Canada
    • 01-29-09

    This book is now outdated

    I purchased this book, as well as Crowdsourcing, the latter of which is the much of the same subject matter, but from 2008, instead of 2007.

    The narrator of Crowdsourcing is also much better, with the Wikinomics narrator sounding like he had to take smoke break every 10 minutes, having the raspy voice of a 60 year old chain smoker. Not exactly the sound of a young technology writer. His emphasis when reading is also so measured, it sounds like he's narrating a 1960s PBS documentary. He has no relationship to the material: he actually almost breaks into laughter as he says "Web 2.0".

    Buy Crowdsourcing instead.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
      2 out of 5 stars
    • Mark
    • Jonesboro, LA, United States
    • 07-02-07


    It explores how some companies in the early 21st century used mass collaboration (or peer production) and open-source technology such as wikis to be successful. According to Tapscott wikinomics is based on four ideas: Openness, Peering, Sharing, and Acting Globally. The use of mass collaboration in a business environment, in recent history, can be seen as an extension of the trend in business to outsource: externalize formerly internal business functions to other business entities. The difference however is that instead of an organized business body brought into being specifically for a unique function, mass collaboration relies on free individual agents to come together and cooperate to improve a given operation or solve a problem. This kind of outsourcing is also referred as crowdsourcing, to reflect this difference. This can be incentivized by a reward system, though it is not required.

    While, there are some interesting examples and some valuable insights, the book is far from being a critical study. Even when it is insightful, it is like listening to people smoking pot. Every idea is clever as long as nobody is sober.

    The section on Sharing is toothless in examining the implications of the loss of property rights. Real companies should be real careful about drinking this exuberant koolaid. But don't take any of it too seriously - if the authors believed what they were saying, then why didn't they just blog the book for free and make money from "incentives"?

    In fact, here is a Godelian puzzle to ponder:
    The last chapter will be written by viewers, and was opened for editing on February 5, 2007. So, if the authors truly believed what they are saying in the first chapters that are not open for editing, then why wouldn't they let the wisdom of the crowd edit the first part as well?

    If you are going to read this, then please also read The Cult of the Amateur by Andrew Keen.

    By the way, the first paragraph of my review was lifted from wikipedia.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
      2 out of 5 stars
    • Kenneth
    • LEESBURG, VA, United States
    • 11-07-07

    Ra Ra, but Where’s the Beef

    The book looks at Wikipedia and a cluster of other very recent open source success as though this were a wild new idea with little or no precedence. The result is almost propagandistic.

    A longer term perspective that looked at GNU (a precursor to Linux from the early ‘80s) and professional societies (a very early kind of open sourcing) would have revealed more weighty questions. Most open-source movements have largely failed, especially in computing. Even Linux is starting to seriously lag the state of the art. Reading this book creates the opposite impression.

    Wikipedia is amazing; it is changing the world. But why? And will it last? Is it representative? Is it even the right story or is the destruction of Britannica the important story?

    I suspect that in the future open source will be primarily a tool that businesses use to compete with each other, with results that are as often destructive as creative. But this book doesn’t even create a framework for discussing this possibility.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars


    Thought provoking.. One of the most eye opening technology books out there! Don’t let the name of put you off .. I thought I understood the internet , well I now have an understanding of true collaboration in the globe market .. If you have enjoyed books like : The world is flat or the Innovators Solution or What’s Next . This book will help pull it all together..

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
      1 out of 5 stars
    • Wesley
    • Burnt Hills, NY, USA
    • 01-31-09


    In the future, people (mainly youngsters) and forward-looking corporations will collaborate and accomplish amazing things. There, I just saved you 13 hours of listening to this book. Talk about having one idea and beating it to death over and over and over. Also, the narrator uses the same inflection for every single sentence he reads making it just that much more painful to listen to. My advice: skip this book.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful