The Globe and Mail is running a series based on a forthcoming book, Wikinomics. Today they've published the second in the series, Ideagoras. Here's an excerpt:
In addition to broadening and deepening its own proprietary networks, P&G searches for innovations in Web-enabled marketplaces such as InnoCentive, NineSigma, and yet2.com. These combined efforts led to hundreds of new products on the market, some of which turned out to be hits.
In the process, Mr. Lafley and his managers like Mr. Huston transformed a lumbering consumer products company into a limber innovation machine. In fact, five years after the company's stock collapsed in 2000, P&G has doubled its share price and now boasts a portfolio of 22 billion-dollar brands.
Today P&G is a leader among thousands of companies that participate in what we call "ideagoras" where millions of ideas, innovations, and uniquely qualified minds change hands in something akin to an eBay for innovation.
Companies that move now can leverage a global pool of talent, ideas, and innovations that vastly exceeds what they could ever hope to marshal internally.
P&G figures that for every top-notch scientist inside its labs, there's another 200 outside who are just as good. That's a total of 1.8 million people whose talents it could potentially tap into.
The article is interesting not just for its content (which may be good stuff or routine corporate hyperventilation) but for the Globe's own awkward use of the online medium.
The paragraphing of the online article was identical to that of the print version I read over breakfast. I broke up one over-long paragraph to make it more readable.
The resources mentioned like InnoCentive and NineSigma are given without links to their sites. (Don't get me going about companies still using StudlyCaps.)
The story does offer a link to the Wikinomics home page, and to an earlier article in the series. But like so much material that the print media dump online, this is really just shovelware. Its value online would be far greater if only it had been turned into real hypertext.
That said, I'm posting a link to Wikinomics in Webwriting Resources, and I'd welcome your comments about that site.