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August 12, 2004
Hacking vs. Research
interviews Howard Rheingold
on his Cooperation Project
. He describes what’s happening as the creation of a new economic system, the reaction of record and movie companies (Never before in history have we been able to see incumbent businesses protect business models based on old technology against creative destruction by new technologies.
) and also offers a different model for exploring innovation:
…If I was a Nokia or a Hewlett-Packard, I would take a fraction of what I’m spending on those buildings full of expensive people and give out a whole bunch of prototypes to a whole bunch of 15-year-olds and have contracts with them where you can observe their behavior in an ethical way and enable them to suggest innovations, and give them some reasonable small reward for that. And once in a while, you’re going to make a billion dollars off it.
Q: A focus group on steroids.
A: This would be more like ethnography, where you let them loose and watch what they do. If you want to think out of the box about innovation, let’s not put all of our bets on 50-year-old PhDs in laboratories. We now have dispersed the means of individual and collective innovation throughout the world…
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