The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many are Smarter than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations Summary

The SQUEEZE: A growing sentiment is beginning to gain significant traction within the business and finance industries. The sentiment that more can be achieved with a larger group of people than with an elite few is an idea that is poised to predict future decisions, innovations, and business problems. It is this sentiment that James Surowiecki explores in “The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many are Smarter than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies, and Nations.” In the book, Surowiecki explores the idea that larger groups of people form wiser decisions and are better at solving problems. Surowiecki’s prose includes references to a number of fields such as popular culture, psychology, behavioral economics, military history, and politics. Surwowiecki believes that it is the larger group that provides insight into how we select leaders, run companies, and think about the world in general. “The Wisdom of Crowds” is a must-read for economics and psychology majors as well as for the seasoned professional.

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Notable Endorsement: "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.

Common Q’s Answered by this Book:

  • What are the four elements required to form a wise crowd?
  • What are the types of crowd wisdom?
  • What are dreams of the common good?
  • What is the “Columbia Disaster”?
  • What are examples of application of crowd wisdom as a technique?
  • What are the failures of crowd intelligence?


About the Author: James Surowiecki is an American journalist. He currently works as a staff writer for The New Yorker, and writes a column on the subjects of business and finance. His writings have appeared in a number of additional publications, which include The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Wired, and Slate. In 2004, he edited an anthology titled “Best Business Crime Writing of the Year.” Surowiecki is an alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was also a Morehead Scholar. Surowiecki completed a doctorate in American History at Yale University.


Book Vitals:

Publisher: Anchor (August 2005)

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