In this landmark work, NEW YORKER columnist James Surowiecki explores a seemingly counter-intuitive idea that has profound implications.
Decisions taken by a large group, even if the individuals within the group aren't smart, are always better than decisions made by small numbers of 'experts'.
This seemingly simply notion has endless and major ramifications for how businesses operate, how knowledge is advanced, how economies are (or should be) organised and how nation-states fare. With great erudition, Surowiecki ranges across the disciplines of psychology, economics, statistics and history to show just how this principle operates in the real world.
Along the way Surowiecki asks a number of intriguing questions about a subject few of us actually understand - economics.
What are prices?
How does money work?
Why do we have corporations?
Does advertising work?
His answers, rendered in a delightfully clear prose, demystify daunting prospects.
As Surowiecki writes: 'The hero of this book is, in a curious sense, an idea, a hero whose story ends up shedding dramatic new light on the landscapes of business, politics and society'.
"As entertaining and thought-provoking as The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.... The Wisdom of Crowds ranges far and wide." -"The Boston Globe"
"A fun, intriguing read-and a concept with enormous potential for CEOs and politicos alike." -"Newsweek"
"This book is not just revolutionary but essential reading for everyone."-"Christian Science Monitor"
"Provocative....Musters ample proof that the payoff from heeding collective intelligence is greater than many of us imagine." -"BusinessWeek"
"There's no danger of dumbing down for the masses who read this singular book." -"Entertainment Weekly"
"Clearly and persuasively written." -"Newsday"
"Convincingly argues that under the right circumstances, it's the crowd that's wiser than even society's smartest individuals. "New Yorker" business columnist Surowiecki enlivens his argument with dozens of illuminating anecdotes and case studies from business, social psychology, sports and everyday life." -"Entertainment Weekly"
"The author has a knack for translating the most algebraic of research papers into bright expository prose." -"The New York Times Book Review"
"Dazzling . . . one of those books that will turn your world upside down. It's an adventure story, a manifesto, and the most brilliant book on business, society, and everyday life that I've read in years." -Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point
"Surowiecki's clear writing and well-chosen examples render complicated mathematical and sociological theories easy to grasp. . . . [His] accounts of how the wisdom of crowds has formed the world we live in will thrill trivia mavens-and may make a better investor (or football coach) out of anyone whotakes its conclusions to heart." -"Time Out New York"
"This book should be in every thinking businessperson's library. Without exception." -Po Bronson, author of What Should I Do With My Life?
"Drawing from biology, behavioral economics, and computer science, Surowiecki offers answers to such timeless-and often rhetorical-questions as "Why does the line you're standing in always seem to move the slowest?" and "Why is there so much garbage on TV?" The result is a highly original set of conclusions about how our world works." -"Seed Magazine"
"As readers of Surowiecki's writings in "The New Yorker "will know, he has a rare gift for combining rigorous thought with entertaining example. "["The Wisdom of Crowds"]" is packed with amusing ideas that leave the reader feeling better-educated." -"Financial Times "(London)
"The book is deeply researched and well-written, and the result is a fascinating read." -"Deseret Morning News"
"Jim Surowiecki has done the near impossible. He's taken what in other hands would be a dense and difficult subject and given us a book that is engaging, surprising, and utterly persuasive. The Wisdom of Crowds will change the way you think about markets, economics, and a large swatch of everyday life." -Joe Nocera, editorial director of "Fortune" magazine and author of "A Piece of the Action"
"Makes a compelling case." -"The Gazette "(Montreal)
"Deftly compressing a small library's worth of research into a single slim and readable volume, the Financial Page columnist at "The New Yorker "makes his bid to capture the zeitgeist as his colleague Malcolm Gladwell did with The Tipping Point. . . . The author has produced something surprising andnew: a sociological tract as gripping as a good novel." -"Best Life"
"Surowiecki is a patient and vivid writer with a knack for telling examples." -"Denver Post"
"Most crowds of readers would agree that Jim Surowiecki is one of the most interesting journalists working today. Now he has written a book that will exceed even their expectations. Anyone open to re-thinking their most basic assumptions-people who enjoyed The Tipping Point, say-will love this book." -Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball
"Surowiecki's is a big-idea book." -"Salon.com"
"It has become increasingly recognized that the average opinions of groups is frequently more accurate than most individuals in the group. The author has written a most interesting survey of the many studies in this area and discussed the limits as well as the achievements of self-organization." -Kenneth Arrow, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and Professor of Economics (Emeritus), Stanford University
"Clever and surprising.... The originality and sheer number of demonstrations of the impressive power of collective thinking provided here are fascinating, and oddly comforting." -"Bookforum"
"An illuminating book." -"Detroit Free Press"
A bright and lucid columnist for THE NEW YORKER...[Surowiecki] knows how to make a convincing, sometimes entertaining case - SUNDAY TIMES
Erudite and entertaining...he has a rare gift for combining rigorous thought with entertaining examples - FINANCIAL TIMES
Dazzling...will turn your world upside down. It's an adventure story, a manifesto, and the most brilliant book on business, society and everyday life that I've read in years - Malcolm Gladwell, author of THE TIPPING POINT
A handsome addition to the books that combine the verve of smart magazine writing with a whiff of academia...a fantastically stylish counter to the expert-knows-best line...an offbeat argument for democracy. In the future, crowd pleaser might no longer be such a half-hearted compliment - GQ
Lightly written, well-argued and deftly assembled...intelligent, engaging and provocative - HERALD