Questions for Don Tapscott

Tomorrow I will have the chance to interview Don Tapscott. Here are my questions so far … Any ideas? Any Additions?

It will be all about WIKINONICS, his newest book. Thanks …!

wikinomicsWIKINOMICS – the name actually sounds like something to play with. A toy … Where does it come from?

What does WIKINOMICS mean? What are the principles?

I am tempted to ask if his own company is based on these principles?

Corporate Culture. To understand the principles and the model behind is one thing. To implement it the into a company or even to run a company by these principles is a totally different story. It is a huge challenge! It is no longer about control, it’s all about participation. But therefore a huge shift in corporate culture is necessary, isn’t it? How can a company manage this shift?

Hierachies. When you talk about hierarchies, do you see companies and consumers on an equal level? If yes, the examples: flickr, myspace … there are always hierarchies, aren’t they? None of them gives the consumer, the user the freedom to do what they want to do with it … consumers only act on “platforms” which have been provided for them ….? Let me describe it in other words: If I open up a playground and explain the rules to the children. Of course the children will start to play – but are they really self-organized by doing so?
What would really be good is the idea to open up a playground for the children’s needs, observe them and adjust the playground to their needs ….

Self-Organization. What does it really mean in economic terms? Are individuals/companies capable to work and function without any structures? Where and what are the barriers? (BTW: Do you know Sugata Mitra’s project “A Hole in The Wall” with kids in India? It is all about self-organization)

Complexity. WIKINOMICS is leading to complex structures. Complexity can be hindering. What can balance WIKINOMICS and complexity? Any communication tools? Headquartes? Hierarchies?

Crowdsourcing. Collaboration, does it work in a highly emotional process like e.g. in creating a song, movie or painting when the individual artist is no longer the center of the process, but the crowd. Wouldn’t this be synonym with the loss for the fan community? In economic words: Don’t we need idols like Steve Jobs and others who set up the frame for a whole community?

Participation/User Generated Content. Where does participation starts, where does it ends? Consumers/employees are building/creating huge knowledge/databases for companies … e.g. Google database and their free “software” spreadsheets etc.which are great, but the user has to pay a huge price: the content going along with it, belongs to google!!!. Are there any models out there where consumers/employess participate financially in the growth and success of these companies? What could be a model for this?

Leadership: JSB (John Seely Brown) just gave me an example a couple of days ago of a Call Center in Shanghai. For 4 employees they have 1 manager. Manager in a sense of coach, trainer. They work very efficiently. Is this the new kind of leadership we will face?

Transparency. How transparent can a company be? Who decides what will become transparent and what won’t? Are there any differences in different industries?

Human Resources. What impact will WIKINOMICS have on human resource management? Is the “traditional” human resource department still an option? What new models are available?

What is the dark side of WIKINOMICs?

2 thoughts on “Questions for Don Tapscott”

  1. i am very much looking forward to this interview… 🙂

    i see a potential great model for “Participation / User Generated Content” in the upcoming Semantic Wikis. of course the tools are only the enablers… the “social aspect” is key to make it work …

    good examples would be very interesting where people succeeded with an approach that actually created a “drive” for people to give input to such a system (for immediate return when interlinking things).

    Stefano Mazzocchi for example talks about this in … where people start to be drawn into an active and collaborative “data-context discovery process”


  2. Sie kommen viel in der Welt rum und lernen unterschiedliche Kulturen und ihre Mindsets kennen. Welche Kulturen, Völker und Kontinente sind für wikinomics am besten, welche am schlechtesten gerüstet?

    Und: wo sehen Sie im globalen Konzert die Rolle Europas?

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