Posted on June 16th, 2011 at 1:08 PM by Wan
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My rating for this book review: 5 Stars

Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Portfolio (December 2006)

Why is it worthwhile to read this book?

We’re moving away from a closed, hierarchical structure focused on capital and physical goods. In this old system, you tried to be a good manager while you moved your way up in the hierarchy. The trend now is toward a new kind of open, networked enterprise that is modular. It’s dynamic, flexible and it reaches outside the boundaries of a corporation.

Summary (via Netcast)

The book describes why the new business models for an enterprise require the seven principles of Wikinomics:

1. Peer Pioneers
2. Ideagoras
3. Prosumers
4. The New Alexandrians
5. Open Platforms
6. The Global Plant Floor
7. The Wiki Workplace

What do these seven principles mean to us? Let’s look at them in layman’s terms.

The Peer Pioneers talks about how The Wisdom of Crowds (that means any one of us) can be harnessed to make smarter decisions. Good examples of this are Linux and Spikesource, which is an open-source application. The success of open-source software has encouraged a growing number of “innovation communities” to adopt an open or distributed model. This means more resources can be applied to solve problems. Openness is the key for implementing good strategies in any organisation, like Zopa, which is a website that allows people to lend money to each other eBay style.

Meanwhile, Ideagoras talks about open markets for ideas, and innovations for uniquely qualified minds. It comes from the Greek agora.

Then we have Prosumers (this is one of my favourite principles). It comes from the words “Producers” and “Consumers”. It tells us how we are beginning to be a prosumer society. An example of this would be SecondLife. I became a prosumer when I had my avatar designed in SecondLife. There is also a company called Linden Labs, where 99 percent of its product is built by its consumers. This shows how we turn our customers into producers.

The New Alexandrians is about the sharing of science. There are thousands of these mass collaborations underway today all around the world in the area of science. New collaborative platforms are making it possible to engage very broad communities of public and private entities in large-scale collaborative research and development efforts.

Next we have Open Platforms. All the world’s a stage, and we get to participate using others’ API for free. Everyone likes freemium (Free + Premium). Also, sharing is caring! One great example of this would be Pikspot, which is like YouTube, Digg, and MySpace combined, for instantly creating rich media communities. It’s an open platform, where we can create a community that uses video in three minutes.

The next principle is The Global Plant Floor. It’s not that mass collaboration is a better way of building the most difficult thing we can think of to create; it may be the only way. A great example of this would be Boeing designing a plane. Boeing suppliers co-design airplanes from scratch and deliver complete sub-assemblies to Boeing’s factory, where a single plane can be snapped together like Lego blocks in as little as 3 days. Meanwhile, I was amazed with Tapscott’s findings about a Chinese motorcycle industry that is essentially an open-source motorcycle, making it cheaper for the community.

Finally, the final chapter of Wikinomics is The Wiki Workplace. It discusses the use of Wikis, blogs, collaborative filtering, social networking, RSS feeds, jams, and so on within corporations. Consequently, it is called the definitive guide to the 21st Century Enterprise, for Enterprise 2.0. According to Tapscott and Williams (2006), if we publish a book, we don’t own it because it’s done under a creative commons license. If we create the definitive guide to the 21st century corporation, that’s going to help our organisation somehow because in business we don’t fear theft of Intellectual Property (IP), we fear obscurity.

Still not impressed with Tapscott and Williams’ Wikinomics principles? Well, let’s look at another insightful video explaining how GoldCorp, a gold mining company, with Rob McEwan at the helm as the CEO, adopts these four principles of Wikinomics. They made a great discovery during their search for gold.

(Photo courtesy of Tapscott, 2007, p. 29)

Food for thought

How are we going to find leadership for change? The good news is it can come from anywhere in an organisation. Sure, it’s helpful if the boss is involved, but it can also come from anywhere else. Therefore, leadership can be found on each of our personal journeys if we will it. It looks like Wikinomics will be our road map for doing business in the twenty-first century.

A French poet by the name of Victor Hugo once quoted, “Nothing’s so powerful as an idea whose time has come.” The time has come for the new web, for a new generation for whom this new medium of human communications is their birthright. The time has come for a new model of enterprise and for profound changes in how we innovate, how we create goods and services, and how we, as organisations, engage with the rest of the world. And hopefully the time has come for each of us to find the leader within us to change our organisation and, in doing so, change the world.

References:

Tapscott, D. (2007). Wikinomics: Winning with the Enterprise 2.0. NewParadigm. pp.1-56.

Tapscott, D., & Williams, A. D. (2006). Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. New York: Portfolio.

Posted on March 3rd, 2010 at 2:07 PM by Wan
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Picnik is one of many web-based photo-editing applications that are easy to use, fun and fast to learn its usage. Although it is easy to use, yet I personally think that it is a powerful editing tool which could make your photos turn into fabulous state-of-an-art. It has a basic editing functions such as auto-fix, rotate, crop, resize, exposure, colors, sharpen and red-eye removal. Not only you could click any button to display the control for that particular option but you could also apply special effects like night vision, pencil sketch, sepia, black and white, film grain and much more.

Want more? Join premium membership which has additional tools under the “Build” tab. With a simple click of a button, members can convert any photos from simple to artistic functions such as duo-tone similar to Adobe Photoshop. These are some of the user’s added-value. It rewards its members by allowing 100 photos upload at a time with an annual subscription plus unlimited change history. Not to mention others like advanced tools. This not only motivates its member but also increase the community participation.

Picnik used a powerful combination of network effects strategies to defeat its strongest competitors. Personally, I believe Picnik is much better than other web-based photo application competitors. For instant, Flicker and FotoFlexer; even though there are both similar photo editing options but they heavily rely totally on flash plug-ins where users might be having problems with their browser’s ability to process their flash especially the Apple Mac users. Meanwhile, Pikifx does provide online photo editor but it is purely basic with no sliders or controls to adjust. Nevertheless, Picnik does have its minor disadvantages where users won’t be able to edit their photos in Photoshop after editing them in Picnik.

It is interesting to notice that with the evolution of Web 2.0 and Cloud 2.0 can do; Picnik acts as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).  Users can add their own data in the form of photos. This web service offers application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable developers to exploit functionality and provides a wide range of options who want to integrate the Picnik experience into their own websites using the free open-source code. A positive “network effects” shows why Picnik has been recently bought over by Google in 2005. This mean not only they can grow bigger under the Google roof, they would be able to reach more and more people than ever before, impacting more lives and making more photos more amazing. By allowing developers to create rich content through APIs and bringing more members in the community, consequently it does not face problems with walled garden issues. There’s plenty of Picnik API to choose from, either be it for amateurs or professionals for application developers.

In addition, Picnik works fine with majority of the browsers such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox. Users can upload their photo directly from their desktop to Picnik via their drag-and-drop Yahoo Widget. You can also grab an image directly from any website with their Bookmarklet such as Picasa, Flickr, Webshots, Myspace, Photobucket and many more.

There are a lot of new advertising opportunities in Picnik than ever before. With 9.6 million active monthly unique users internationally, 67% predominantly female audience and 43% between ages 13-17 (Quantcast Sept 2009), Picnik would pose a threat to any web-based photo firms like Apple and Adobe. Google is having a big plan such Picnik mobile to compete with other mobile platforms such as iPhone, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7 series. Indeed, there is no doubt the future trend would be merging its existing online photo-sharing service, Picasa with Picnik. Perhaps this could be the rise of Pic-Pic or G2P (Google + Picasa + Picnik)?

How easy to use Picnik

References:

1. http://blog.picnik.com

2. http://www.picnik.com

3. http://www.bnet.com/2448-14061_23-399298.html

4. http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/editors/24875/