Wikinomics-Group E


For the paper and powerpoint these are the sections you should cover. We have split the project in half with group F (we will cover the first half of the book).

Here is a breakdown for our next presentation/paper over Wikinomics…

Intro- The Perfect Storm (pp 1-64)

Peer Pioneers-Ideagoras (pp 65-123)

The Presumers- The New Alexandrians (pp 124-182)

Individual Contribution: Each person should create one slide only for their part of the presentation and ideally contribute one page per person or three pages per group (however you want to look at it). Try to post to the wiki at least three times per person. Be thinking of a creative/interactive activity we can do (like the group today using the dress forms)!

Important Dates:
-Wed., Nov. 11 (in two days)- short grp. meeting after class in Windsor Aud.
-Mon., Nov. 17- meet w/ Courtney after class for checkpoint
-Wed, Dec. 3- email your part of the paper to Megan (ude.snehpets.cs|namagaw.nagem#ude.snehpets.cs|namagaw.nagem) and your slides (w/text and transferable pictures) to Meg (moc.liamtoh|deihcsrednamgem#moc.liamtoh|deihcsrednamgem).
-Mon, Dec. 8- Presentation and paper due

Thanks and if you have any questions don't hesitate to email me!


Section 1 of group E,

If you are in the first group, we are all going to read the 64 pages, and then we can divide it into topics for each of us to cover, everyone will be responsible for their own powerpoints, and atleast one page to contribut to the entire paper.
Since Ashley and I did the final paper and powerpoint for our section for world is flat Ragains and Zachritz should decide which one wants to put the final paper and power point together for our section this time around.

i have divivded out section up
intoduction, subtitles, The new World of wikinomics
which is pages 1-18

The New Promise Of Collaboration, The Principles of Wikinomics
which is pages 18-30

Thriving in a world of Wikinomics, The New Web
Which is pages 30-46

The demographic watershed, The collaboration economy, Riding the perfect storm
Which is pages 46-64

Jane is going to do the power point this time so try to fit all your information on one slide, if it is not doable make two but no more than two and e-mial them to her. Michaela is doing the paper this time, so try to write a page and 1/2 to two page and email them to her.

I hope this is ok
Hello everyone,

I just wanted to let everyone know that they should email Megan Wagaman, ude.snehpets.cs|namagaw.nagem#ude.snehpets.cs|namagaw.nagem your part of the paper. You do not have to email it to Emily anymore.

-Megan Wagaman

This is just a reminder to everyone is group E that we have a meeting with Courtney after class today. This will count as our checkpoint for this book.

-Megan Wagaman

Does anyone have any ideas for our overall group activity? We will just have 10 slides total so the PPT should be short and brief and then we can do our activity before we present. It's a bit more difficult to figure out an interactive project because we do not have internet connection (for off campus people) in that room….any ideas?! I made the powerpoint a burnt orange color if that helps anyone and there is an icon on every page at the bottom left hand corner. We should also plan a time to meet after Tbreak.
-Meg Manderschied

I'm still thinking about ideas. I will come up with a few ideas over Thanksgiving break and then ask everyone what they think or we can all put our ideas together. How about meeting on Thursday, Dec. 4 at 5pm or 6pm? -Emily

Thursday Dec. 4 : I have class until 5:45 …. so i can only meet at 6pm -Ashley Huber

Yeah, I just realized pretty much everyone has class that night. So maybe we could just meet sometime over the weekend either Saturday or Sunday to make sure everyone is on the same page and to go through our presentation. Let me know your availability for Sat, Dec. 6 and Sun, Dec. 7. -Emily

I can meet anytime during that weekend! -jane

"Peer Production"

With the idea of "peer production" in mind… think of all the websites and businesses in general that give consumers the opportunity to create their own product. We touched on this idea in "The World Is Flat"- with Starbucks having a sort of "buffet" style for its customers, giving them the chance to create their own beverage. Anyways, in my online class a student introduced me to the website "" which allows people to upload t-shirt designs, vote on them, and purchase them, and even submit pictures of yourself wearing the shirts, while also winning prizes. It is a really cool website and definitely uses the idea of "peer production." -Emily

* Youtube Video *
Hi ladies! Here is a Youtube video that was used in my new social media class. I think it is very interesting, but the video is like 8 minutes long so we might not be able to show it! Let me know what you girls think?


If this link does not work: Go to Youtube and type in "Did you Know 2.0" - Ashley Huber

Hey guys,

i am still having a hard time thinking how our presentation will be interactive… but i found a link to the actual wiki site from the book's website.. anyways i think it is interesting ! check it out!

this is the link..


Interactive Activity

Here is my idea for an interactive activity to get the class involved… It comes from the chapter about ideagoras (chapter 4). The idea is having "a marketplace for ideas and innovations." So basically companies no longer have to hire full time employees for every department. The can pull from these "ideagoras" people who are skilled/specialized in certain areas to solve problems as they go.

As an activity I was thinking we could split the class into two groups, group A (an example of an ideagora) and group B (traditional company model). So group A would further be split into group #1 (FDP majors), group #2 (FMM) and group #3 (FCO). We would have to take then split one group (probably the FDP group) to use them as our group B. They would be a small group (maybe 3 or even 1 person) to use them.

The Ideagora group or group A consists of:
Group #1 would be in charge of creating a garment (sketching).
Group #2 would be in charge of describing the target market for the garment.
Group #3 would have to sell the garment either through a short synopsis that might be seen in a print ad or a commercial.

Group B:
Would be one or two people who have to do all of the work that the above group did.

The main idea: Collaboration is key and being able to pull professionals with expertise in certain fields is much easier and more cost efficient than hiring full time employees. Give me some feedback. Hopefully that made sense… kinda hard to type up.

sounds good! -jane

Here are some helpful articles that i ran across when i was researching:

Articles on WIki, Open Source, Collaboration, and Self-Organization

Our book’s website…has wiki link

About Wiki in general: How to/History

This YouTube ( a site based on collaboration!!!!) explains the idea of a wiki…ANYONE CAN UNDERSTAND THIS lol

This is a YouTube video of the author of Wikinomics, Don Tapscott, talking about the book.

-Megan Wagaman

Just a reminder that each groups part of the paper is due today!! You can email it to me at ude.snehpets.cs|namagaw.nagem#ude.snehpets.cs|namagaw.nagem.

-Megan Wagaman

**Can everyone please email me their slides for the PowerPoint….I have Megan's, Emily's, Mine and Morgan's slides (totaling 4)….Please email me your slides ASAP Thanks!!!


I found this link when searching for pictures. It talks about customer lead economies and customers getting paid for their idea contributions.

I found this youtube video of Mark Hansen, the CEO of Lego, talking about the Lego Factory (which we were talking about using for our activity)

Just a reminder that we are meeting tonight, Sunday December 7, at 6:00 in Windsor to go over our presentation.
-Megan Wagaman

Here are a few articles that I found that relate fashion to the idea of Wikinomics

The World Just Got Flatter — Silicon Valley E-Trailer Launches First Open Source Fashion Design Platform: iStyler

Facebook User Pick Favorite Fashion Retailers

Bringing Bloggers into the Club

-Megan Wagaman

Website I found that talks a little bit about how technology has advanced fashion. I related it to the chapter titled, The Alexandrians.

Here are some great Fashion social networking sites that use YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, and blogging within the sites. Check them out!

- Ashley Huber

Many corporations have organized themselves in a hierarchical system based on authority. Today, however, corporations cannot succeed using hierarchical organization alone. Changes in the nature of technology, demographics and the global economy are making new models of production focused on community, collaboration and self-organization more popular than those based on hierarchy and control (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 1). In the first chapter the authors of Wikinomics, Tapscott and Williams, give a few examples of how suffering companies were saved by using collaboration and community input through an online open-source wiki. By adapting this concept, the corporation was able to quickly discover solutions, innovation, and information. Wikinomics also touches on the criticism mass collaboration has received. However, Tapscott and Williams conclude that self-organized systems prove to yield higher success.
Wikinomics directly relates to the fashion industry in many ways. One example of this is fashion bloggers and trend-forecasters. Fashion bloggers are becoming more popular than ever. “Fashion houses first dipped their toe in the waters of the blogging world by granting credentials for bloggers to enter the tents at New York Fashion Week and, if they were lucky, standing room space at a few shows” (Carmon, 2008). What this means for the fashion industry is that bloggers are becoming something that the fashion industry should take seriously and they are doing just that. Today, “fashion brands and public-relations firms are starting to suss out places where the relationships can progress” (Carmon, 2008). They are doing this because they know that bloggers do have an effect on their products and they want to make sure that it is a positive one.
Another example of the correlation between the fashion industry and the wikinomics industry is a widget on Facebook. “Widgets are mini applications such as quizzes and video sharing that users can add to their profile pages” (Corcoran, 2008). Through this application user’s can declare their love for retailers such as Barneys New York, H&M, Coach, Topshop and Marc Jacobs (Corcoran, 2008). In February 2008, Facebook offered more than seventy fashion-related widgets. “Most are quizzes about personal style and trends added by fashion bloggers and other fashion-related sites” (Corcoran, 2008). In fact, the most popular fashion widget, Topshop, had 1,357 active daily users (Corcoran, 2008). Observers predict that widgets are the advertising form of the future, as already seen through the fashion industry. This opens more doors for retailers because they engage customers more than banner advertising and thus, customers are more likely to remember the retailer and shop with them than they would if they just saw a banner pop up.
The New Promise of Collaboration
Without collaboration ideas would simply not come together. Collaboration is a part of our everyday lives which could mean, collaborating with fellow parents at PTA meetings, with other classmates on a group project, or with co-workers on business ideas or projects (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 18). Individuals have their unique, diverse ideas and talents, which can be useful for businesses to build and define a product, or a business itself.
Web 2.0 is the key for collaboration in today’s society. This type of collaboration is reshaping our world of human affairs one bit at a time. We now consider the old-fashioned “‘old websites, clicks and “eyeballs’" of the web (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg.18). Computer use has multiplied in the last century, and computer technology is something that anyone can easily use or program. So it makes it easier for computer users to participate or join an online community that they are interested, or perhaps create their own. Web 2.0 now connects more than a billion people together, from all over the world. Within a billion consumers of the new Web 2.0, are people in cyber space with the same ideas, and what a better way to communicate and share those ideas! Flickr is a photo collaboration idea that allows social collaborators who are interested in photography to share the same ideas and also compare formats. Flickr helps the consumer with photography by editing, sharing, and staying in touch with uploading and organizing, and by exploring the world through pictures that other consumers have taken. Flickr also helps the customer make photos into something special like a photo box or calendar. Flickr is just one of the many social media sites that consumers of web 2.0 can use to collaborate ( Every business or corporate manager is encouraged to use this mass collaboration opportunity to better the business world.
Being Open
“A new kind of business is emerging- one that opens its doors to the word, co-innovates with everyone (especially customers), shares resources that were previously closely guarded, harnesses the power of mass collaboration, and behaves not as a multinational but as something new: a truly global firm” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 20). Wikinomics is based on four new ideas: openness, peering, sharing, and acting globally (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 20). Being open is being free to easily adopt ideas. Companies used to be held back from networking, sharing and encouraging self-organization. In the past, companies competed by keeping their most important ideas to themselves; avoiding networking, sharing, and encouraging self-organization. A common example in the workplace would be “managing human resources- firms were exhorted to hire the best people, and to motivate, develop, and retain them, since human capital is the foundation of competitiveness” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 21). However, this is not the case anymore for most companies. Companies today make their boundaries penetrable to external ideas and human resources both in the United States and the global economy; thus surpassing those companies that still rely on their internal resources and capabilities alone.
Peering is coming together with others of the same group or category. Peer- to-peer collaboration is a way of organizing ideas and activities in any area of the business world. Sharing in terms of social collaboration can be tricky to understand, considering that intellectual property plays a big part. Patents, copyrights, and trademarks are key for protecting your ideas. Millions of kids and teenagers create and share “MP3 software” such as tools and music. Downloading music and new movies that have not even hit store shelves are a few ways of not paying for the actual resource. As a result, downloading such resources for free is considered piracy. They are easy, cheap or even free, and convenient for the consumer. This creates problems for the entertainment business and results in a decrease of DVD and CD sales. It also has a positive aspect considering the “zero marginal cost”. “But if your invention can be replicated at no cost, why should anyone pay? And if no one pays how do you recoup your fixed–cost investment?” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 26).
Businesses are now treating intellectual property as a mutual fund; meaning that they manage a portfolio of IP assets, some are protected and some are shared through this idea (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 26). Sharing can be used in any industry in the world. By creating the right conditions for markets they would be able to expand or create new opportunities. Sharing also includes computing power. Skype is an idea of sharing computing power to network among peers. It allows peers to speak to one another free of charge. Skype is based around the idea that users will share without the requirement of capital investment (Tapscott & Williams, 2006). Acting globally is a way of collaborating with international developments and the way they work. Businesses “need to know the world” and its markets, technologies, and their consumers. By knowing the world, businesses will be able to compete in a way that better meets today’s standards. Staying globally active will help economic growth, raise living standards, and will create more opportunities for global interdependence (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 25). The world has so many possibilities to act globally, people must continue to connect to Web 2.0 and take advantage of it.
Acting Globally
The corporations of today are no longer operating on the old system of hierarchy. According to Tapscott and Williams, “openness, peering, sharing, and acting globally increasingly define how the twenty-first-century corporations compete” (2006). Business practices are always changing, and will continue to change because of technology and the constantly changing internet. Corporations can not simply thrive on old business practices, they either have to change with the new technologies or get left behind with the past. Mass communication is now possible; the new internet has opened a new world of business through collaboration. Wikinomics identifies seven new models that are part of the new business model that the authors call, “collaboration economy” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006). The seven principles are Idegoras, Prosumers, the New Alexandrians, Platforms for Participations, The Global Plant Floor, and The Wiki Workplace. These seven principles have made it possible for small businesses to compete on a playing field with the large-scale corporations.
The new technologies, and the way that the technologically savvy and the younger generations are bringing them together have been described by Tapscott and Williams as, “The Perfect Storm,” which they explain as, “where converging waves of change and innovation are toppling conventional economic wisdom” (2006). Boing Boing is a web site with an audience close to one million and is growing rapidly; this site is full of blogs that people read, and read often. When the Co-editor featured a blog about Sony-BMG and their DRM software, the subject went from a small issue that Sony was sure that they could cover up to an issue costing them a large sum of money. A Web site is not something that you just sit back and read about anymore, you can view them, join them and publish your own two-cents worth about any subject you want. “Phenomena like MySpace, Facebook, flickr, 43 Things, Technorati, and aren’t just Web sites, they are dynamic online communities” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006). The authors explain how these Web sites bring people together and create a community of people with many differences or commonalities all on one site.
Thriving in a World of Wikinomics
The “New Web” was a million steps above the Internet when it was first established. For years you could only surf the Internet to find published material, read it, and then move on. The “New Web” allows you to browse the Web and leave a comment, article, or picture for others to see. In 2006 the user-written Web sites passed the professionally published sites, blogs soared above news Web sites, and sites like Craigslist, where the buyers and sellers post their own thread, passed the sites where the professionals were just listing products. The authors explain the “New Web” as, “The Worlds Biggest Coffee Shop, with over 1.5 million blogs posted daily, and a new blog created every second” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006). The websites that you purchase from are even interactive today. EBay has a rating system from previous purchasers and it locates other items that you might be looking for as well as other items hosted by the seller whose page you are shopping. Wikinomics explains the act of tagging as a, “folksonomy,” which is opposite from the trickle-down-theory which consumers have followed in the past.
Starting up your own company is now not only easier to do because of the excess of information available, but is cheaper because the package known as LAMP stack. LAMP stack provides users with the software, a server, database, and the scripting languages they need to start their own Web site for free. The everyday person can maneuver the Internet; it is not as hard as it used to be and has created a new way of communicating for everyone. Tapscott and Williams stated, “The new Web is about verbs, not nouns” (2006).

The Perfect Storm
The Demographic Watershed: Growing up Collaborating
Born between 1977 and 1996, the Baby Boom Echo or the Net Generation, has grown up online. To the workplace and their communities they bring a “new ethic of openness, participation, and interactivity.” They are a “new breed of workers, learners, consumers, and citizens” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 46). Thanks to the Internet, life is an ongoing collaboration. “Today young people are the authorities on the digital revolution that is changing every institution in society” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 47). Youth control huge online communities where they collaborate and do everything from evaluating companies’ products and services to providing their own products and services and entertainment (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 48). Online networking “is part of N-Generation’s cultural habits and will be part of the social fabric going forward.” It shows how youth today are ingrained with the need to “connect and collaborate with peers to achieve their goals. Only the smartest companies stand a chance of becoming meaningful participants in the networks these N-Geners are forging” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 49-50).
Changing the World—One Peer at a Time
“TakingITGlobal… has 110,000 registered users in nearly two hundred countries… is offered in seven languages, and has five million unique visitors” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 50). The site has “over two thousand youth-initiated and-managed community action projects that address issues from closing the digital divide in rural India to preventing HIV in Uganda” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 50). On the site members list the languages they speak, countries they have been to, and what they are most interested in changing about the world. Members then link to profiles that have similar interests, which lead to new friends and new projects (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 50). TakingITGlobal’s most current task is to reform education. Cofounder Michael Furdyk blames “lack of engaging content” as the reason that there has been such a decline in “interest and enthusiasm” for schoolwork. To reform TakingITGlobal suggests having students collaborate with students in other countries and learn through active projects that help better their local communities. “It’s real participatory, active learning” (Furdyk, Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg.50). If N-Geners can transform the future of the education system, then they can do the same to the economy.
The N-Geners as Prosumers
“Reputation and word of mouth have become powerful forces that marketers must harness” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 52). N-Geners are not passive consumers; they take products into their own hands by “designing, producing, and distributing products themselves. [They] are not only creating new art forms, they’re helping to engender a new creative and philosophical openness” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 52). The N-Geners have a very different concept of work. It includes “speed, freedom, openness, innovation, mobility, authenticity, and playfulness” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 54). Wikinomics argues that out of these ideas will come “the basis of a revitalized and innovative work culture” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 54). The Net Generation has created, what the text argues is, an opportunity that is “the most exciting and long term engine of change and innovation that the business world has ever seen” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 53).

The Collaboration Economy
The three forces of the perfect storm of technology, demographics, and global economics are: (1) the rise of the second-generation Internet, (2) the coming of age of a new generation of collaborators (Net Generation), and (3) the collaboration economy (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 54-55). The collaboration economy consists of two things: “a change in the deep structures of the corporation… and the rise of a truly global economy….” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 55). Multibillion dollar companies are turning to “business-web (b-web) models where masses of consumers, employees, suppliers, business partners, and even competitors co-create value” without managerial control. This is done via the Internet. B-webs cut out search costs, contracting costs, and coordination costs, or all transaction costs (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 56). Each company preserves its identity while using the strengths of the other companies, creating more wealth than they could have alone (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 57).
Coase’s Law states:
“A firm will tend to expand until the costs of organizing an extra transaction within the firm become equal to the costs of carrying out the same transaction on the open market. As long as it is cheaper to complete the transaction within the firm, keep it there.”

The internet has made Coase’s Law valid as long as it is read backwards. “Firms should shrink until the cost of performing a transaction internally no longer exceeds the cost of performing it externally” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 56).
The Global Playing Field
“We are witnessing the reweaving of the social, political, and economic fabric that binds our planet, with long-term consequences that are as profound or more profound than those of the industrial revolution” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 59). China is a leader in manufacturing while India is “the global office.” ICICI Bank can accredit its success to its low costs caused by “innovative technology systems… that cost less than one-tenth of the business infrastructure” used by Western banks. Economic growth in these countries is unlikely to decline. Neither the United States nor Europe should think that they will easily be the leaders in the economy as they have been in the past. “The future lies in collaboration across borders, cultures, companies, and disciplines.” Those countries that turn inward will not succeed (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 61). The real advantage to outsourcing and globalization is business growth, better skilled employees, innovation, diversity, and job creation (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 62). “The brainpower behind the next generation of products and services will be more numerous, more diverse, and more distributed than at any time in history” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 62).
The Peer Pioneers
A New Mode of Production
Peer production is the idea of mass collaboration and it is taking over the way businesses operate. It is an alternative to traditional, vertically aligned industries and companies. Peer production is not a fad and if companies are unwilling or unable to adapt to this new structure, they are not likely to be able to compete within their industry. Taking advantage of peer production allows for more innovative opportunities, reduced costs, and advancement within the market (Tapscott & Williams, 2006). “[Peer production] is a way of producing goods and services that relies entirely on self-organizing, egalitarian communities of individuals who come together voluntarily to produce a shared outcome” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 67). Thus, it allows for the most skilled and knowledgeable candidates to assign themselves to certain tasks or duties instead of having a manager delegate tasks among employees just because they fit within a certain job description. This allows for more flexibility and more collaboration, which in turn leads to more innovative ideas at a much faster rate.
In many cases in which peer production is used there is no monetary value assigned. So, some might ask why would anyone volunteer their time and skills to something in which they receive no monetary benefit. The answer is simple- people actually enjoy sharing knowledge, solving problems, and creating new ideas for the pure satisfaction of knowing they are good at what they do and they have something to share with the world. It is arguable that an open source market is a threat to the economy or to businesses that are not active in the open source market. However, the authors of Wikinomics among others argue that open source networks and peer production actually allow for more competition with industries instead of supporting a few large monopolies. With the use of open source markets small and medium size companies are able to compete at the same level as large corporations.
According to Tapscott & Williams, peer production works because it is more cost efficient, time efficient, detailed, allows for a more diverse talent pool, and contributors enjoy the freedom and overall experience- it works because it can (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 71). This is the same concept Friedman stated in The World is Flat: “When the world is flat, whatever can be done will be done” (Friedman, 2007, pg. 447). Wikipedia is the best example used today of peer production. As of 2006, it had “over four million articles in over two hundred languages” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 71). Wikipedia is the idea of “free access to the sum of all human knowledge” (Wales, Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 71). It is Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales’, hope to introduce Wikipedia 1.0, which will freeze many of the high-quality entries on Wikipedia. Additionally, Wales also hopes to branch out into publishing books based on Wikipedia posts.
Embracing the Open Source Ecosystem
IBM is another company who ‘embraced the open source culture’ by collaborating with Linux. The path IBM has taken “illustrates just how deeply open source is changing the very fabric and strategic orientation of the firm, and just how far the open source revolution will take information-based industries, with software as their beacon, down the path to exciting frontiers in innovation and value creation” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 83). It is predicted that many large traditional companies will have to restructure or reinvent themselves in the flat world or within the new open source culture and IBM can be looked to as a success story. According to Tapscott & Williams (2006) “there are three rules of open source- “nobody owns it, everybody uses it, and anybody can improve it” (pg. 86). Problems with software development in the past have been due to walls or barriers between companies in which they did not want to share information between competitors. However, with the introduction of open source, companies are able to solve problems faster, less costly, and develop more innovative applications.
“Thomas Friedman argues that open sourcing is a powerful flattener but concludes in the same breath that in a world of open source it will no longer be clear who owns what or how individuals and companies will profit from their creations- agreeing with open source detractors that [open source] is a latter-day socialism and an attack on free enterprise and the right to make a profit.” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 90) Torvald defends open source calling it the opposite of socialism and stating that in fact “it’s free enterprise.” “Open source is what makes capitalism in software possible at all. Without open source, you’d have just a set of monopolies: effectively, economic feudalism” (Torvald, Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 92). It may not seem like contributors to open source are directly benefiting or profiting but they are in fact. “Making money is all about adding value” (Polese, Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 90).
Peer production affects the fashion industry in many ways. One way it affects the fashion industry an open source fashion design platform. Silicon Valley introduced iStyler in December on last year and was the first open source fashion design platform. All users have to do is “Enter: iStyler, an online interactive platform and social network where up-and-coming designers from around the world submit their fashion concepts. The public casts votes for their preferences and then the winning styles become part of nest season’s collection” (ZenTrend, 2007). “Just as the advent of the Internet has brought the world a long way toward the democratization of information, communication and commerce, a playful part of iStyler’s ambition suggests a time when we may see egalitarianism in women’s fashion. At the very least the platform is a fun and creative way to shop and connect with other citizen stylist along the way” (ZenTrend, 2007). This affects the fashion industry in that it is a mass collaboration of designers from all over the world, and that the customer has the finally say it was is and is not produced. If this idea catches on it could affect many jobs in the fashion industry both directly and indirectly.
The World is Your R&D Department
Ideagoras are defined as “marketplaces for ideas, innovations, and uniquely qualified minds” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 97). The idea behind ideagoras is that companies do not have to hire full time employees in their research and development department, marketing department, and advertising department. Instead they can go onto the World Wide Web and search among scientists, inventors, artists, etc. to solve problems within their companies. Through websites such as InnoCentive companies are able to “tap emerging global marketplaces to find uniquely qualified minds and discover and develop new products and services faster and much more efficiently than they have in the past” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 98). In fact, as many as thirty-five fortune 500 companies are currently using InnoCentive to be able to solve problems within their companies externally. InnoCentive is described as a “matchmaking system that links experts to unsolved research and development problems, allowing these companies to tap the talents of a global scientific community without having to employ everybody full-time” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 98).
Ideagoras allow companies to solve problems outside of their own network of employees. After all, a diverse network is the one that is likely to prosper the most. Having an unlimited source of minds to solve a company’s research and development problems is not only likely to yield positive outcomes but it is much more time and cost efficient. The text compares ideagoras to eBay, but instead of selling products it sells ideas or buys ideas. Most companies are not skilled in all areas of business. This is where ideagoras come into play. A company with a strong marketing department may be weak in technology. So, they then publish their problem or idea on a site like InnoCentive where millions of individuals are able to solve their problem for them.
The problem being faced is companies are used to the old ways of doing business and are struggling with letting go of doing everything themselves. Since today’s marketplace is evolving at a much higher rate than before, especially in the fields of science and technology, it is impossible for companies to do everything internally. Companies can no longer control all aspects of the production process or maintain the best or most talented people within their organization. However, “an estimated ninety percent of research and development is still performed internally” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 101).
If companies are wise, they will learn to use this mode of operation to their advantage and thus maximize their resource of ideas and development. is another ideagora that allows companies to “post under-utilized assets they are seeking to license externally” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 103). Procter and Gamble is a company who has utilized ideagoras to its full potential and has consequently seen a decrease in spending in research and development, an increase in patents, and an increase in new products. “Using online marketplaces allows [companies] to cast wider nets across multiple, and often unrelated industries” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 104). There are a total of 1.8 million people in the world who are at the disposal of companies like Procter and Gamble to tap into their talents (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 106).
Harnessing Ideagoras
Ideagoras do not replace internal departments but rather act as a complimentary component to them. Ideagoras are links between individuals, companies, and educational institutions in which the buying and selling of ideas occur. Procter and Gamble CEO, Larry Huston, stated, “no amount of idea hunting on the outside will pay off if, internally, the organization isn’t behind the program” (Tapscott& Williams, 2006, pg. 114). If the entire company isn’t behind the idea of external idea exchange, especially if the CEO is not behind it, then it is likely to be an unsuccessful venture. The first step is support and the second is knowing exactly what you are looking for when searching for ideas. “The natural complement to a keen sense of purpose is an astute external sensing capability to identify new markets, new technologies, and emerging competitive threats” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 115). Using external ideas or problem solving sometimes eludes people into thinking that the company is done after an outside solves the problem. However, it is up to the company to relate what is learned by external sources back to what the company already knows and its area of specialty. Overall, it is a balance between external and internal information that leads to successful innovations.
Companies will always need their own employees and specifically a research and development team to “ask the right questions, draw up strategies, source the external inputs, and help commercialize the end products” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 118). The ratio between external and internal input and output is up to each individual company. “Smart firms will harness a portfolio of approaches ranging from corporate ventures to customer cocreation to peer producing value in open communities to developing innovations within proprietary networks of partners and suppliers” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 120). The text states the importance of outsourcing most problem solving tasks in order to operate in the most efficient way. Ideagoras allow for a competitive advantage and without taking advantage of such a broad source of knowledge, companies will fall behind those who do use ideagoras to their full potential. “Companies that don’t source a growing proportion of new product and service ideas from outside their walls will find themselves unable to sustain the level of growth, agility, responsiveness, global savvy, or creativity they require to compete in today’s environment” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 123).
The Prosumers
The future of forward thinking companies rests in the hands of their ‘prosumers.’ Customers that modify and enhance a company’s product are both customers and producers, or ‘prosumers’ (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 125). Prosumption is not to be confused with “customer centricity.” Customer centricity is when a company decides the products basic elements and the customers get to modify or customize certain parts. Prosumption involves continued customer participation in the creation of products. Customers are doing more than customization, “they are at once developers, community members, and entrepreneurs” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 125).
Customers As Co-Innovators
Companies that are willing to embrace their prosumers’ changes and advances will gain a competitive advantage. For example, Lego Toy Company has created a Web site where customers can virtually design, share, and even purchase their new product ideas. According to Mark Hansen, director of Lego Interactive Experiences, Lego has been able to expand their design team “beyond our one hundred in-house product designers to marvel at the creativity of more than three hundred thousand designers worldwide” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 131). Two forces are converging to increase prosumption; first, customers are able to use the Web to create “prosumer communities, so what was once fringe activity is increasingly out in the open” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 128). Secondly, companies are embracing “lead users,” people that “stretch the limits of existing technology and often create their own product prototypes in the process…often develop modifications and extensions to products that will eventually appeal to mainstream markets” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 128).
The Prosumption Dilemma: Control Versus Customer Hacking
Sony’s PlayStation Portable (PSP) device is a great example of prosumer creativity. Some of Sony’s more ingenious customers have hacked the devices and upgraded them into “a streaming music player, a WiFi device, and a Web browser” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 135). Hackers share information and other ‘home-brewed’ applications on a variety of Web sites. Unfortunately, Sony, like most companies consider the innovation and creativity from prosumers “a fringe phenomenon of little concern or value to their core markets” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 128). Sony was quick to denounce their customers’ creativity. Sony has even taken to covertly destroying homemade applications. When users load a new Sony game, they must upgrade their PSP’s software. The upgrade smoothly disables all of the homemade games and applications, throwing out hours of prosumer hard work and ingenuity.
Sony, and many other companies, face a dilemma. According to Tapscott and Williams, (2006) “a company that gives its customers free reign to hack risks cannibalizing its business model and losing control of its platform….a company that fights its users soils its reputation and shuts out a potentially valuable source of innovation” (pg. 135, 136). Ideally companies in the future will “bring customers into their business webs and give them lead roles in developing next-generation products and services…this may mean adjusting business models and revamping internal processes to enable better collaboration with users…that is a small price to pay, however, to keep customers loyal to your business…the opportunity to generate vibrant customer ecosystems where users help advance, implement, and even market new product features represents a largely untapped frontier for farsighted companies to exploit” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 136).
Chapter five discusses how consumers are becoming producers. The fashion industry has already been affected by prosumers. John Fluevog, a high-end shoe designer, looks through hundreds of submitted designs from customers and then chooses the best ones to go into production. If your shoe gets chosen, then it’s named after you. However, not every design company or fashion merchandising company is able to move in the direction John Fluevog has. One reason they are not able to do this is because it would put their design department out of work. Another reason is that companies put a lot of effort into trend forecasting and in-depth studies of their target customers. Some customers might not be the creative type able to design a garment, which is why they rely on the design team to do the creative work for them.
A well-known designer that has already moved in the direction of the prosumer is Steve Madden. About a year ago, on his Web site you could design your own Steve Madden shoe. You could pick the type of shoe, the sole, the style, and fabric for $100. It was only for a certain period time, but was very popular and exciting for customers who have had the urge to design but have not had the resources available to them. The site took you step by step and offered forty-three different shoe styles ranging from Ugg boots, to wedges, to strappy sandals, heels, and flats. While some got excited to create their own funky Steve Madden shoe, others did not like the idea and thought it defeated the purpose of buying designer shoes.
The New Alexandrians
Sharing for Science & the Science of Sharing
The Alexandrian Greeks had a powerful idea to collect as many ideas, books, histories, literature, etc. and put them under one roof. They wanted to do this so all of the information would be available for mankind to use and thus, better society. Even though all of that information was destroyed in the fifth century, we now have forty-two million items in the New York Public Library. However, the collection does not rival the collection the Greeks had almost two-thousand years ago. But, the Greeks, I am sure, had no idea what sort of information hoarding they were capable of then.
In this age we have the New Alexandrians, which by definition are “individuals, companies, and organizations that recognize the power and importance of openness in today’s economy” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 156-157). Collaborative science has widened the knowledge of humankind and now we can say that we have “published 32 million books; 750 million articles and essays; 25 million songs…” and the list goes on along with 100 billion Web pages (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 152). Human knowledge doubles every five years. We are finding that if we do not share information companies and the networks that are sharing information will bypass individuals that are not participating in the sharing of information.
The Sharing of Science
Conventional scientific publishing, which is slow and expensive for users, is now changing into a mass scientific workspace. Although there are problems with scientists and researchers making their work available to all, it is still exploding into something we never imagined. There are collaborations such as the Earth System Grid (ESG), which is an experimental data grid that integrates for scientists collaborating on climate studies. With systems like these scientists can now test, verify, and collect data to speed things up and to improve on scientific knowledge itself. Scientists will now rely less on paper for communication and more on tools like blogs, wikis, and web-enabled databanks.
The Precompetitive Knowledge Commons
The precompetitive knowledge commons is a “big, new, collaborative approach to research and development where like-minded companies and competitors create common pools of industry knowledge and process upon which new innovations and industries build”, which, in short, is a type of wiki (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 163). This is what scientists are doing for the Human Genome Project, which is one of the most important and largest endeavors of our time. Since 1986, researchers have been looking at our genetic make up to find cures for diseases. Instead of going with the preconceived notions that research is best done individually and within secret laboratories scientists have actually collaborated across boundaries. Because of this, “companies have been able to cut costs, accelerate innovation, create more wealth for shareholders, and ultimately help society reap the benefits of genomic research more quickly” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 163).
The Balancing Point
Although the sharing of information, whether scientific or fashion trends, is beneficial for all, we also have to find a balance. We must have a balance between public foundation and private enterprise to keep long-term competitiveness. “The questions remain: How much protection is enough or too much? What’s the right balance between private enterprise and public domain? And what will achieve that balance?” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 181).
As previously discussed, the collaboration of scientists sharing their information and discoveries for free in order to make the people more knowledgeable has proven to be successful. Additionally, this type of knowledge sharing can also benefit the fashion industry by means of sharing information of new technological inventions that speed up old processes, increase fabric quality, or bring the fashion industry something innovative and new that is not on the market yet. The more companies get together and help each other, the further and faster we can advance as one. Fashion trends could begin to change more rapidly because of the new technologies that are available. With the advancement of technologies and information, it is possible for people to begin to acquire technology that allows them to start producing their own garments, like t-shirts, and potentially compete with larger corporations.
The idea of wikinomics directly relates to everyone. “Billions of connected individuals can now actively participate in innovation, wealth creation, and social development in ways we once only dreamed of. And when these masses of people collaborate they collectively can advance the arts, culture, science, education, government, and the economy in surprising but ultimately profitable ways” (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, pg. 3). Many people use a wiki source to communicate to more than one person. Facebook, MySpace, Linux, Wikipedia, YouTube, and Flickr are a few sources that many people use on a daily basis. Mass collaboration is the most efficient way a person can voice their ideas, suggestions, criticisms, etc. to their community. Regardless of whether companies and individuals are ready for a world where everyone is an average of six “steps” away from each person on Earth, as described through the Six Degrees of Separation Theory, it is a reality and there is nothing that can be done to stop it. No matter how much we think that we are not connected to one another we are in almost everything we do. This connectedness and collaboration will become even more present to us when we enter the work force because the fashion industry is greatly affected by this, which in turn affects us all.


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