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Wikinomics, a sequel.

2013 April 14

More about WikinomicsWikinomics is a ‘our times our changing’ book from 2006, which is fun to reread. Its pompous style uses warlike statements (bastion, revolution) about what smart companies should do, what we will think when we look back in twenty years’ time, what to do if you want your company to exist in a decade’s time, etc.


Sentences with “it is the reality of the future…” , “completely new”, “real innovation” and “most companies ignore” always get my attention. The authors claim that developments in openness, peer production,  sharing, acting globally have conspired to cause the biggest change in the short life of the firm. They eventually mention open innovation, but do not explain the term (and do no mention Chesbrough either).


In my opinion, smart firms are and should be very selective in the use of the ideas offered in this book. I thought the authors agree, mentioning core values somewhere, but I misplaced the bookmark. At times this book gives me ‘a flat earth feeling’ (nice to reread, but with a lot of statements that cannot be verified and are in need of reflection). I do wonder what would happen if all companies would act as ‘smart’ companies do in this book? Would we all just get smarter or is there a next wave to ride on?


I somehow expected a free download version of the book on the wikinomics website, as this book was also created with the cooperation of a crowd. As an alternative I downloaded “The brand new TED Book: Radical Openness” on my iPad, but I was rather disappointed with its content. In only 19 pages of text (for some 2.45 euro) the ideas from the book and video are repeated, but do seem to bring a few new cases. Will read that later while on the commute.


On a different, but related topic: the –less open than others- iPad and the Apple ecosystem clearly are the preferred platform of choice during “open” events. This might point to a case of selective openness, or selective revealing if you prefer that. Either way, openness becomes me.


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