With just 5 days to go before the official book launch, media reviews are going to start flooding in. Today’s from The Economist:
Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams coined the term “wikinomics” in their 2006 tome of that name. Their central insight was that collaboration is getting rapidly cheaper and easier. The web gives amateurs access to world-class communications tools and worldwide markets. It makes it easy for large groups of people who have never met to work together. And it super-charges innovation: crowds of people can develop new ideas faster than isolated geniuses and disseminate them even faster.
Mr Tapscott and Mr Williams have now written a follow-up to their bestseller. They solicited 150 suggestions online for a snappy title. The result, alas, was a bit dull: “Macrowikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World”. But the book is well worth reading, for two reasons.
The first is that four years is an eternity in internet time. The internet has become much more powerful since “Wikinomics” was published. YouTube serves up 2 billion videos a day. Twitterers tweet 750 times a second. Internet traffic is growing by 40% a year. The internet has morphed into a social medium. People post 2.5 billion photos on Facebook every month. More than half of American teens say they are “content creators”. And it is not only people who log on to the internet these days. Appliances do, too. Nokia, for example, has produced a prototype of an “ecosensor” phone that can detect and report radiation and pollution.
The second reason is that the internet’s effects are more widely felt every day. In “Wikinomics” the authors looked at its impact on particular businesses. In their new book they look at how it is shaking up some of the core institutions of modern society: the media, universities, government and so on. It is a Schumpeterian story of creative destruction.