My Book Review of @AneeshChopra’s “Innovative State”

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Aneesh Chopra was the first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Unites States government, and served in this position from 2009 to early 2012. Since then, he has run for the office of Governor in Virginia (but has not succeeded) and created Hunch Analytics, a company which crunches public and private data to “help executives and industry leaders in health care, education and energy to make smarter business decisions.” But this post is not about the latter, it’s about Chopra’s experience as the USA’s very first CTO, and his vision of how technology can improve governments.

I enjoyed reading Innovative State very much, not only because it mirrors some of the phenomena I study in academia, but also because it reminded me of Gilles Babinet‘s book about his experience as a digital champion in France (disclaimer: Gilles Babinet is co-founder and board member of eYeka, where I work part-time). While Babinet had a much more consultative role, Chopra was leading the action in the White House – which also shows how seriously digital technologies are taken in France (not a lot!) compared to the US. Anyway. His views on how new technologies can transform government, shared in Innovative State, are highly interesting. According to him, four priorities (open data, impatient convening, challenges & prizes and attracting talent) should drive the US’s agenda toward becoming “a 21st century government that elevates the role of everyday Americans.Continue reading →

Cool: Holding Our First Book Chapter In Our Hands

Click to get to the chapter page

Click to get to the chapter page

A book chapter is “peanuts” on the resumé of an academic, but when you hold the first copy of your life in your hand, it’s cool. The chapter about crowdsourcing in video advertising, which we write with Rosemary Kimani, has just appeared in the book International Perspectives on Business Innovation and Disruption in the Creative Industries co-edited by Robert DeFillippi and Patrik Wikström. The volume examines how disruptive innovations are reshaping industry boundaries and challenging conventional business models and practices in the industries for film, video and photography. Continue reading →

My Short Review of “Crowdsourcing, One Step Beyond”

crowdsourcing book one step beyond lebratyThis is by far not the first book I read about crowdsourcing (the last is Daren Brabham’s Crowdsourcing at MIT Press) but it’s an interesting one. Why? Because, to my knowledge, it’s the first piece in English by the French crowdsourcing researchers Katia Lobre-Lebraty and Jean-Fabrice Lebraty, whose work I already blogged about – in English. Their paper Créer de la valeur par le crowdsourcing: La dyade Innovation-Authenticité (in French, but here is a summary) is one I liked because it really resonnated with my own experience of crowdsourcing. Now, this book finally brings their research to English-speaking audiences, which I think is great to feed the literature and discussions around this field of research. Continue reading →

My Review of “How Emerging Market Brands Will Go Global”

brand-breakout-bookIn October 2009, I covered the publication of the Best Global Brands ranking, underlining that none of the 100 brands came from emerging market countries in 2009. In one part of the report, called “Tomorrow’s Brand Leaders, Up-and-Coming Global Brands,” Interbrand China’s Jonathan Chajet nevertheless listed a couple of brands that could become global in a near future, like companies from China (Lenovo, Haier, Tsingtao), India (Tata, Reliance, ArcelorMittal), Russia (Kaspersky Lab, Aeroflot, Gazprom), South Africa (MTN, Anglo-American, SABMiller) and Brazil (Itaù, Vale, Natura). You can see some of them in my post (even if it’s written in German).

Some of these brands, like Lenovo, Haier, or Natura, are presented in a fascinating book called Brand Breakout: How Emerging Market Brands Will Go Global, by N. Kumar (London Business School) and J-B. Steenkamp (University of North Carolina), which I just finished reading. Based on extensive field and desk research, the authors present 8 strategies that brands are taking to go global (the Brand Aquisition Route for Lenovo, the Asian Tortoise Route for Haier or the Natural Resources Route for Natura, for example).

Continue reading →

@DBrabham’s “Crowdsourcing” Book

daren-brabham-crowdsourcing-books-photoSince Jeff Howe’s article (2006) and book (2008) on crowdsourcing, journalists and researchers have widely been using the term. In every article I read, from blog posts to academic writings, Howe is always given as a reference. The fact that most people relied on a magazine article and a business book gave birth to a variety of conflicting definitions of crowdsourcing (with or without Wikipedia, Linux, or YouTube) which made it really hard to understand for the layperson who didn’t have time to make her/his own opinion.

But one researcher, who wrote his doctoral dissertation about crowdsourcing, provided a clear definition from the start (which was as early as 2008): Daren Brabham. assistant professor in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He just wrote a book, simply called Crowdsourcing, published in MIT Press’ Essential Knowledge Series, about what crowdsourcing is, and what it isn’t. I hope it will be used next to Howe’s article (2006) and book (2008) in forthcoming writings about crowdsourcing, because it clearly dots the i’s.

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Advertising Contests in the 1950s and 1960s (The Contest Era)

The book cover (left) and the movie poster (right)

The book cover from 2001 (left) and the movie poster from 2005 (right)

It’s easy to forget how long companies have been inviting ideas from ‘the crowd,’” says Julia Kirby in her HBR article Creative That Cracks the Code the Code. “If you’re in doubt, read The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio, a memoir of 1950s America in which the author’s mother writes advertising jingles for contest after contest.” This excerpt caught my interest, and I rushed to Amazon to buy the book (2001) and the movie (2005). I’ve just finished both and learned an awful lot advertising contests in the 1950s and 1960s, decades of prosperity in which companies fueled consumption and promoted the American Way of Life with creative contests. Continue reading →

My « We Are Smarter Than Me » crowdsourcing book review

we are smarter than me crowdsourcing book cover

We Are Smarter Than Me, How To Unleash the Unleash the Power of Crowds is one of the “older” books when it comes to crowdsourcing, as it has been published in 2008. The authors, Barry Libert (investor and strategic advisor) and Jon Spector (Vice Dean and Director of Wharton Executive Education), explain in their introduction that since “there is no practical guide to translate [the concepts of crowdsourcing, wikinomics and open source technology] into usable tools and techniques,” this book would “fill the gap, describing in detail how businesses of all kinds can make the wisdom of the crowd work for them.” But I must admit that I closed the book disappointed, here’s why. Continue reading →