Book: Wikinomics

Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything
Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams

ISBN: 1591841380

So I promised I will write reviews. Here is a book I just finished. The very attractive name caught my eye in Barnes and Noble

The book makes very good points about how the economy is taking a different shape these days. Development of communication tools allow for much greater efficiency. How? Well instead of hiring, companies and organizations can uncover the work that needs to be done to the world and the person with most expertise and cheapest price can do the job. And no matter how many people corporations have hired, the world pool is bigger.

A good example of this transparency and opening is the mining company. Goldcorp was struggling with finding new gold resources, so it put online all the private information and told people, “We give you all our information, you tell us where to dig!” The prizes they paid to people totaled $575,000, but 80% of the suggested dig places yield substantial quantities of gold. 100 million company became a 9 billion monster that eat its biggest competitors. Another example of transparency was how IBM opened up their patents for use to public, receiving in return over 1billion in revenue yearly.

Its also worth noting that people have become what authors call ‘prosumers’. We are not only consumers, we are not satisfied anymore by slightly customized products (pink iPod or 2gb ram in the new Dell). We now like to completely build our products. We like to create video, blogs, photos, we like to make software and show it off. Its the reason why open source software will continue to grow and why collaborative sites are going to flourish. And figuring out our consumer preferences might be quite important for a business’ survival…

What else…oh yeah, I thought it was funny how Geek Squad (have you seen those black and white beetle cars zooming around the city?) communicates and exchanges most efficiently ideas at Battlefield 2. “Shoot that mother cracker, behind the tank. BTW, where do I find firmware for WRT-54GL…”

So yeah, its worth knowing those things. Limp Bizkit sang it really well, “You better stay on top or life will kick you in the ass”

Don’t Forget to Be Happy: A Note to Myself

I have learned that to be entrepreneur it takes a lot. You have to be in it, you have to sacrifice time, energy etc – you know it. I have been very busy lately – 13h workdays, 7 days a week…

And today I saw a movie. Surf’s Up! Its an animation about surfing penguins, with good funny jokes, with dreams, ambition, competition. There was a scene where Big Z (the pro surfur) tells Cody (the hype ambitious kid) that its all about the fun and the love for surfing itself. It made me think that sometimes, when you work too hard, you forget to enjoy what you do. So I hope I will remember more often now that I do what I do, because I like it and I have to enjoy it. That’s all life is about.

How Entrepreneurial People Get More Entrepreneurial

I worked a good chunk of time for a very successful entrepreneur that made a fortune from real estate. For the time I was with him I saw how from a single person he grew to a super efficient team of about 15 people that are building and renovating at a dazzling speed.

One unique thing about him is the amount of books he reads. Almost every day, I see him with a different one. Sometimes its about dog psychology (he got a dog and was very into teaching it), sometimes its about stock volatilitis, sometimes its about oil and comodities. We discuss some, he gives me to read others, but its way too much for me to keep up with him. Now that his team does most of the work, he has plenty of time to read and get an edge over competition. He also doesn’t just read. He reads interesting useful books that have studies, reflections, wisdom and experience.

I decided i should try it too. Read a bunch of books on networking, communications, and motivation/attitude. I have to say that the knowledge I gained from those few books is nowhere to be found in our college textbooks. And by far more useful. I also think that in the long run, when I look back and see what books I have read, I will see correlation with what I have achieved. For that reason, from now on I will review all the good books that I have been through. I am setting up a section named “Books” where all my posts with reviews will go. Enjoy.

Two and two yields Ten

The following question bothered me today, “Why are the so-called ‘art people’ valuable and what is the reason that they can’t make a lot of money?”

I decided to go back to my understanding of creativity. It seems to me that ‘creativity’ and ‘art’ are very correlated, since a great piece of art usually has an unusual and new perspective. So my theory is that there is no true creativity in this world. I think that our brains can never create something drastically new, they rather mix different things to come up with something whole, something ‘new’. In that sense, true imagination and creativity are non-existent.

So it follows that art people feel free enough to scoop elements of life from the most unrelated mediums and put them together. Art people are the ones that do the ‘forbidden’ things in our lives. We live according to rules, they go and say, “No i don’t think pencils should be used for drawing. They make up great chopsticks!”

And then it struck me how important it is to learn to put things together. We are so used to putting things that match, that we can’t see the true outcomes of unusual combinations (think of mentos + coke. Ever mixed those?) Everything we have today is a result of putting together smaller pieces. The better the putter you are, the better the problem solver you are. If you know how to put together unusual things, you will get unusual solutions, that no one has thought of before. Many are weird, don’t work, but the ones that work make it big because they are the only ones.