Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
umair haque  


Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Collaboration vs Production

OK. The meme starting to flow around the net is that peer production is 'collaboration'.

I think production is a better word - and I'm not just playing semantic games. Here's why.

Collaboration implies that people aren't self-interested - that they're altruists helping each other produce things out of the goodness of their hearts.

I think this is a pretty big error for people who are thinking seriously about peer production to make. If you assume people are altruistic, you'll end up setting exactly the wrong incentives for peer production.

But if you (in the face of a serious lack of evidence) assume that people are still mostly selfish, you'll set strong incentives for them to internalize some kind of peer production gains. These could be reputation or status effects (MeFi), revenue shares (OhMyNews), prizes (Yahoo Buzz Mkt), whatever.

So, that's why I used to originally call peer production 'massively distributed production' - not collaboration.

-- umair // 2:38 PM // 0 comments


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