Open for business.jpg

Traditional business approaches are based on the proprietorship of ideas in order to retain competitive advantage before going to market. However, enabled by the open web, new models based on community, collaboration, self-organisation, and open sharing of ideas are emerging. This raises the challenging question for entrepreneurs as to whether they should share their ideas in order to benefit from the “wisdom of the crowd”.

A new kind of business is emerging — one that opens its doors to the world, co-innovates with everyone (especially customers), shares resources that were previously closely guarded, harnesses the power of mass collaboration, and behaves not as a multinational but as something new: a truly global firm. These companies are driving important changes in their industries and rewriting the rules of competition.

—Tapscott and Williams[1]

case study

Case study: Goldcorp challenge

Read about the “Goldcorp Challenge” where the CEO of a struggling gold-mining company shared proprietary geological data with the world to find the next six million ounces of gold from their mine using an open competition. This case study is published on pages 7 to 10 of the introductory text of Wikinomics: How mass collaboration changes everything.

Optional: Read the rest of this introductory text of Wikinomics to discover interesting examples and ideas about open sharing.


So what do you think/feel about opening information about a company up in this way?

Is it something you would consider?

Post your comment(s) below and then look on the course feed page to see what others have posted.

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Crowdsourcing ideas

Can the open sharing of new business ideas contribute to successful business?

There are a growing number of websites that provide a “free” service for sharing new business ideas. However, remember that if you are using a “free” service, you are the product. The readings which follow are intended to start you thinking about the benefits and risks of crowdsourcing business ideas.

Discussion forum

  • What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of sharing new business ideas openly, and when do you think you should (or shouldn’t!) do this?
  • Is this something you would be open to trying?
  • Where possible, justify your assertions using credible sources (no fake news).

Post your thoughts in the discussion forum and comment on what others have said where appropriate.


  1. Tapscott, D., & Williams, A. D. (2010). Wikinomics: How mass collaboration changes everything. New York: Portfolio Penguin.