The Wisdom of Crowds

  • Title: The Wisdom of Crowds
  • Author: James Surowiecki
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (August 16, 2005)
  • ISBN: 0385721706

In my quest to learn more about business (never ending it seems), I found this book referenced in one of the business-related RSS feeds I read daily. This is a really good book, I almost cracked it open at work a couple of times (I did drag it out to show a couple of people that I thought might catch the meme and spread it).

The premise: crowds often make better decisions than individuals, even very gifted individuals. But, as we all know, not all crowds are so smart. Crowds that are diverse, independent and decentralized stand a good chance for making better decisions than individual people. The author puts a lot of research, along with a bit of anecdotal evidence. And, Surowiecki provides some counter examples, along with why they really aren’t.

This book won’t tell you how to access the decision-making qualities of crowds, but it will give you some ideas on when to turn to crowds and how to craft and moderate small crowds when you need a decision.


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