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The Group Mind

I’ve started reading The Wisdom Of Crowds yesterday, a wonderful book about how decisions taken by groups assembled under the right conditions constantly outperform the ones taken by experts. There are numerous examples, tales and food for thought served warm and with some delicious toppings.

I’ll refrain from blurting out quotes, because there are just so many good quotes I can’t really decide on anything significantly interesting that could be taken out of context. Anyway, if you can’t take the time to read the whole thing, try Smarter than the CEO, an essay by the same author, James Surowiecki.

I reckon there’s a huge and barely explored field for great software to grow in based on the wisdom that crowds hold: most companies don’t really take into account the power of its combined intelligence, relying on higher-ups to decide on what’s important when creating a good environment for groups of employees to decide on these matters could yield more accurate decisions.

Software that helps assembling and aggregating information from those groups within a company barely exists today, and I’m trying to come up with something. Shouldn’t be too hard, actually: some companies have experimented with internal stock markets and had fabulous results, and maybe that’s a good way to go. I’d buy a lot of Dan North and Liz Keogh shares by now: there’s GeekNight next week and JBehave is surely going to be discussed.
PS: I promise the next picture will not have insects of any kind.