Tag Archives: Tapscott

Wikinomics: How companies become successful

This week in class, we discussed the theory behind Wikinomics (Yes that’s right, I Wikipedia-ed Wikinomics), a book written by by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams.

Basically, Wikinomics can be broken up into four main principles in which enterprises can become successful through their online presence through mass collaboration (exploiting the mass online social community). Below is my breakdown of these four ideas in a few short sentences (thanks to the guys at TechTarget):

  1. Openness: having open content to readers/consumers but also having financial transparency and an open attitude towards resources, ideas, concepts and knowledge.
  2. Peering: Having a collaborative environment where peers interact with each other (p2p)
  3. Sharing: Sharing of products, intellectual property, knowledge, and ideas.
  4. Acting Globally: embracing globalization and ignoring any ‘physical/geographical’ boundaries that individuals may have during interaction.

So what do these ideas mean for the world’s enterprises? Let’s have a look at a couple companies that are using these concepts and how they are becoming ever so successful.


(Image courtesy of Engadget)

Paradoxically, one of the most secretive companies in the world when it comes to new product releases, Apple is actually more open than it seems at first glance. Openness can be seen through sharing and collaboration as Fox points out, such as their API where they have allowed consumers and software developers to build applications on apple platforms. This opened up the world of application designers and is where we get our great apps today. As a result of this, many innovative applications have been released, and consumers are consistently downloading more and more applications.

Furthermore, through the use of apple forums, rating systems on products/apps, (and even the brand itself) users have been collaborating and sharing thoughts, ideas, and opinions on products and services. Sharing of information (such as software development kits) of their application interfaces has promoted developers to work together (collaborate) and to rely on each other’s knowledge and learning from other application designs.

In addition to this, Apple’s strong consumer community creates a peered/shared environment. For example, if I like an apple product, then there is a chance that I might recommend it to my friends or family, or if I like an app, I might give it a good rating or review so that others can be more contentious when downloading new applications. Consequently, this feedback from users has transformed the way in which Apple has designed/marketed its products, such as realizing the potential for the iPhone IOS (iPhone operating system) to be incorporated in their design of their computing Mountain Lion OS.

Acting globally, has been one of Apple’s strong suits, their online presence as well as their great retail reputation has allowed people from all over the world to purchase items online with great ease and satisfaction (not to mention the free shipping that arrives within a few business days). The apple cult online has also strengthened Apple as a brand, with websites and other blogging sites such as MacRumors or Gizmodo to share ideas and thoughts on Apple.

This is Wikinomics at work, allowing Apple to be continuously innovative in their products.


(Image courtesy of Bodybuilding.com)

Perhaps less known to people outside of the body building community, Bodybuilding.com came to fame with the help of their open forum, where users in a peer to peer environment are free to ask questions and review products, training techniques etc. Their online store, similarly set up to Amazon allows users to openly critique products and place ratings and reviews. By acting globally, this online bodybuilding community has attracted a wide audience, where their strong online presence, has allowed them to develop their brand and deliver their goods internationally.

Furthermore, with frequent articles and advice given on their website, the sharing of ideas and knowledge has maintained their strong customer base, creating an arena where people can learn from each other, an innovative form of supplement shopping combined with training advice forum.

Through this interactivity online whilst providing a large cyber store for goods has allowed the website to grown over 25000 pages and has allowed them to be ranked the no. 1 most visited bodybuilding and fitness website in the world (source: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/comp.htm).

Final thoughts

It is clear that Enterprises that have realized the need to leverage the power of wider-reaching collaborative environments can allow for further innovation and knowledge attainment. Through the ideas prescribed in Wikinomics, users are quickly growing to vast numbers allowing for market penetration to be achieved at an increasingly fast rate globally.

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