In 2006, Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams described in their book Wikinomics how a new phenomenon they called mass collaboration was going to change everything. They recognized that this unprecedented capacity for self-organization would give rise to powerful new models of production based on distributed peer-to-peer networks rather than centralized top-down hierarchies. Tapscott and Williams envisioned a world where this new way of organizing would eventually displace traditional corporate structures as the economy’s dominant engine for wealth creation. At the time, many critics dismissed the two authors as being carried away by breathless hype and overstating the impact of the digital revolution. While these critics acknowledged the obvious reality of fast-paced technological innovation, they scoffed at the notion that new technologies would radically change the fundamental dynamics for how our social structures work.

Given that more than a decade later the top-down hierarchy continues to remain the dominant organizational structure, it might be tempting to conclude the critics are right and that the notion that mass collaboration changes everything is indeed nothing more than hype. However, closure at this point might be premature because there’s increasing evidence that we are on the cusp of a new second wave of the digital revolution, which promises to be far more transformative than the already disruptive first wave.


Read the full article on the Huffington Post website here.