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Coolfarming: Turn Your Great Idea into the Next Big Thing Hardcover – July 14, 2010
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“…offers inspiration for individuals anxious to turn ideas into products and dreams into reality…puts the process of product development into a contemporary context…valuable resource for any budding entrepreneur.” --ForeWord
Pursuing new ideas is clearly the way to gain business advantage in the new millennium. But it’s not enough to simply chase after ideas that have already happened. To truly benefit, individuals and organizations have to foster the new creative impulses around them. Coolfarming shows readers how they, like bee keepers, can nurture exciting trends and unleash their creative swarm’s output of “next big ideas.”
Featuring real life examples from Linux to Twilight, from Procter & Gamble to Apple, Coolfarming provides readers with invaluable insight on how to:
Provide a fertile nurturing ground for developing original ideas • Determine what “cool” means for one’s target group, and what attributes the next big thing should possess • Convert creative dreams into real products by enlisting the help of a dedicated and passionate Collaborative Innovation Network • Carry new ideas over the tipping point into widespread phenomena
Those who want to stay ahead of the curve and ride a wave of profit need to learn how to find, develop, and popularize the trends of tomorrow. Coolfarming is the answer.
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The stages of Coolfarming are:
The creator comes up with a cool idea.
The creator recruits additional members to form a Collaborative Innovation Network (a COIN).
The COIN grows into a Collaborative Learning Network (CLN) by adding friends and family.
Outsiders join, forming a Collaborative Interest Network (CIN).
There is a big difference between ideas developed in a command and control environment and a Coolfarming environment. "Coolfarming is a decentralized self-organizing process where each member of the COIN knows what he has to do."
There are plenty of examples of Coolfarming successes. Probably the best known are Wikipedia and Linux.
There is no question that command and control styles of management are fading away. Most innovation in the future will be by decentralized self-organized groups. The ability to connect using the Internet has allowed this type of innovation to flourish.
While the stated purpose of the book is to trace how big ideas catch hold and grow, there is a strong underlying theme to this book. The social structure is changing. "But the time of the regal leaders is over. To succeed in today's far more open and transparent economy, neither overpowering egos or narrow skills as a lawyer or turnaround expert lead to success. It is the combination of far-reaching vision combined with humility, modesty, personal warmth, and approachability."
The book is as much about our changing social/work structure as it is about the specifics of bringing new ideas to the market. For new ideas to take root and grow, there must be a new approach - Coolfarming.
Coolfarmers are a new breed. "They understand that the best way to reach their personal goals is to put the goals of the swarm ahead of their own interest because, in the end, it will also be most beneficial for each individual member of the swarm, too."
The book is important because it takes a very realistic look at the changing social structure.
My only complaint about the book was the author used the acronyms COIN, CLN, and CIN very frequently and I had to keep referring back to what they meant. I understand the goal to coin unique terms, but I felt the unique terms detracted from the core message.
No matter what term you choose to use, we will continue to more collaborative efforts. Wikipedia and Linux have shown what can happen when people collaborate. We are on this path and we cannot nor should we even consider turning back. So this book is a very valuable resource to get the reader up to speed on the changes taking place.