Day 23 – W: Wisdom of Crowds

I am a huge fan of the ‘Wisdom of Crowds’ concept. The key principle (the power of many) that governs this concept closely matches another favourite concept of mine, namely, ‘Open Innovation’. An example of that principle which fits both the concepts comes from LEGO.

“Giving children access to a virtual warehouse of LEGO elements to design their own models is a fantastic extension of everything the LEGO System of Play represents and has provided for the last half century, and marks a rare opportunity for true mass customization and community in today’s toy market.” Mark Hansen, director, LEGO Interactive Experiences. He goes on to add “With LEGO Factory we can expand beyond our 100 in-house product designers to marvel at the creativity of more than 300,000 designers worldwide.”

For today’s post, I wanted to highlight a really special book.
Image Source: Google Books

Written by New Yorker columnist James Surowiecki ‘The Wisdom of Crowds’ is truly a fascinating book. The basic premise of the book is that large groups are people are smarter than an elite few, irrespective of how talented they may be. The book traverses fields like psychology, ant biology, economic behaviorism, artificial intelligence etc. to showcase how this principle operates in real life scenarios.

Some of the examples used in the book that I am particularly fond of include:
• Why is it that you can buy a screw anywhere in the world and it will fit a bolt bought ten-thousand miles away?
• Why are there traffic jams?
• What’s the best way to win money on a game show?

To read an excerpt of the book you may click here.

You may buy the book from Amazon, Random House or Flipkart.


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