Saturday, February 11, 2012

Wikinomics: The Business Model of the Future

Not so long ago, I finished reading Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams. It's not at all a fiction book, but it takes a hard look at the direction many companies are going and where they will go in the future. The collaboration that comes from wikis and the open source community is changing the way business is run.

Tapscott and Williams offer four key principles that are needed in the future of business if it is to continue down the same route. They are being open, peering, sharing, and acting globally.
  • Being open can mean a lot. It can mean being transparent and honest with your employees and clients. It could also mean being open source, or letting others use your "blueprints" (in a sense). Be inviting: open up the doors and let outsiders in. Don't close off your organization. Sometimes it's better to let in others in order to think outside of the box.
  • Peering is all about horizontal organization. Tapscott and Williams see this as one of the largest changes to come in the future. Businesses are already becoming less hierarchal and working more laterally with other organizations.
  • Sharing is a big one. There's that old saying: The more you give, the more you get. And this is true in the Information Age. The open source community is the golden standard.
  • Acting globally means crossing borders, not only company borders, but also country. Working in a local area is great, but many times there are better offers elsewhere.
Along with this, they also show some companies who have lead by example. IBM, Boeing, Lego, and Second Life are just a few of the businesses mentioned in the book.

They have a new book out called MacroWikinomics. I haven't read it, but I have it sitting on my bookshelf. One of these days I'll get to it.

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