Positive feedback loop?
A draft book introduction can now be downloaded here. (Many thanks to Naresh Ramchandani for the PDF cover idea, John Dutton for the photo, and Dan Norris for the design and layout).
The internet is allowing a new level of public conversation and media participation. By sharing the book’s thesis and my thoughts-in-progress well ahead of publication I hope to start some debate about the issues and get feedback to influence and improve my ideas.
In the 21st century, accelerating change is a constant and nowhere is this more apparent than online. In the book I plan to explore how key net developments – from file-sharing and user generated content to open source software and other forms of mass collaboration – form a wider trend in society, culture and the economy at large.
I’m interested in explaining a shift in the centre of gravity from the monolithic, the hierarchical and the centralised, towards the miniature, the networked and the distributed.
small print for business readers: this isn’t a ‘how to’ book. There are no “Top 10 Tips for Small-Big Success” or “7 Small Ways of Winning Big” and
so on – partly because it’s just not that kind of book, but also because it is
too soon to write these rules anyway. The coming together of information
networks, individual autonomy and new ways to collaborate introduces a monumental
range of possibilities and we’ve barely scratched the surface. The proverbial Fat Lady isn’t even
warming up her vocal chords, she’s too busy updating her MySpace
profile and recording a weekly podcast for her fans.
We don’t know what the outcome of this transfer of power between Big and Small will be, but we can observe the Small starting to exert a tremendous amount of influence on the Big and change things we’ve taken for granted for the last two hundred years. This book is about describing this shift, exploring the world that is being created, and then speculating on what it means and how it might apply in the future.
I’d welcome any and all notes and criticisms, either in comments on specific posts, mailing me directly with your thoughts, or both!