The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many are Smarter Than the Few and how Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies, and Nations

Front Cover
Doubleday, 2004 - Business & Economics - 296 pages
405 Reviews
“No one in this world, so far as I know, has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.”  —H. L. Mencken
 
H. L. Mencken was wrong.

In this endlessly fascinating book,New Yorkercolumnist James Surowiecki explores a deceptively simple idea that has profound implications: large groups of people aresmarterthan an elite few, no matter how brilliant—better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future.

This seemingly counterintuitive notion has endless and major ramifications for how businesses operate, how knowledge is advanced, how economies are (or should be) organized and how we live our daily lives. With seemingly boundless erudition and in delightfully clear prose, Surowiecki ranges across fields as diverse as popular culture, psychology, ant biology, economic behaviorism, artificial intelligence, military history and political theory to show just how this principle operates in the real world. 

Despite the sophistication of his arguments, Surowiecki presents them in a wonderfully entertaining manner. The examples he uses are all down-to-earth, surprising, and fun to ponder. Why is the line in which you’re standing always the longest? 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 is network television so awful? If you had to meet someone in Paris on a specific day but had no way of contacting them, when and where would you meet? Why are there traffic jams? What’s the best way to win money on a game show? Why, when you walk into a convenience store at 2:00 A.M. to buy a quart of orange juice, is it there waiting for you? What do Hollywood mafia movies have to teach us about why corporations exist?

The Wisdom of Crowdsis a brilliant but accessible biography of an idea, one with important lessons for how we live our lives, select our leaders, conduct our business, and think about our world.

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This book had an interesting premise. - Goodreads
Great ideas, bad writing. - Goodreads
Well-researched book. - Goodreads
This book is both entertaining and educational. - Goodreads
Great information, but comes at a slow pace. - Goodreads
Interesting insights... - Goodreads

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ariahfine - LibraryThing

The Wisdom of Crowds falls into the same genre as Freakonomics and Malcolm Gladwell's books, a fascinating collection of interesting stories, studies and anecdotes toward a general premise. Surowiecki ... Read full review

Review: The Wisdom of Crowds

User Review  - Adriaan Jansen - Goodreads

James Surowiecki argues that there are 3 types of problems for which crowds, under the right circumstances, may be able to offer better solutions than individuals, even experts: Cognition ... Read full review

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The Wisdom of Crowds - Business Book Summaries - Portfolio.com
Title: The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economics, Societies and Nations Author: James ...
www.portfolio.com/ resources/ business-intelligence/ book-summary/ wisdom_of_crowds

Blink and The Wisdom of Crowds. - By Malcolm Gladwell and James ...
featured advertiser links. Book Marriott's breakfast deal now with Visa >>; T-Shirts, Custom Jerseys, Hillary Clinton T-Shirts>>; Be Prepared. ...
www.slate.com/ id/ 2111894/ entry/ 2112115/

Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki (kottke.org)
Wisdom of Crowds. by James Surowiecki. posted 14 Jul 04 at 10:46 pm. "The problem with the global village is all the global village idiots." ...
www.kottke.org/ 04/ 07/ wisdom-of-crowds

Seeing Both Sides: The Wisdom of Crowds
VC Perspectives From A Former Entrepreneur. « Soap Operas and Start-Ups | Main | Building The Next Billion Dollar Company in Massachusetts » ...
bostonvcblog.typepad.com/ vc/ 2007/ 05/ the_wisdom_of_c_1.html

Blog of Collective Intelligence: “The Wisdom of Crowds” and the ...
CI means many things to many people. Here, it refers to the capacity of human communities to evolve towards higher order complexity and integration through ...
www.community-intelligence.com/ blogs/ public/ archives/ 000267.html

James Harkin: Big idea - the wisdom of crowds | Technology | The ...
James Harkin: Last week the do-it-yourself online encyclopaedia Wikipedia came face to face with its own Ratner moment
www.guardian.co.uk/ technology/ 2005/ oct/ 29/ wikipedia.web20

How to Save the World
environment economics politics stories business innovation knowledge management entrepreneurship eco blog
blogs.salon.com/ 0002007/ 2004/ 11/ 15.html

Awasu » The Wisdom of Crowds
Wednesday 2nd June 2004 11:43 AM [General]. An intriguing article over at Wired by James Surowiecki, author of “The Wisdom of Crowds”: ...
www.awasu.com/ weblog/ ?p=157

hospital impact - The Wisdom of Crowds and Healthcare
If the premise of James Surowiecki's 2004 book, The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, ...
www.hospitalimpact.org/ index.php/ scoop/ 2007/ 11/ 12/ the_wisdom_of_crowds_and_healthcare

About the author (2004)

SUROWIECKI is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he writes the popular business column, “The Financial Page.” His work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Artforum, Wired, and Slate. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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