OpenSource: Jimmy Wales on Information Sharing in Business


When people imagine competitors using shared resources in business, they might not typically think of the financial industry. But as we discussed with Paul Rowady of the TABB Group, there are indeed areas, like cloud computing, where collaboration is beneficial for the parties involved.

Jimmy Wales is someone with a unique insight into the potential value of shared information and resources, having built the world’s largest online public information portal, Wikipedia. But Wales’ perspective on the subject and advocacy for distributed knowledge in business isn’t only due to his expertise as an information aggregator. He also used to work in the futures industry. So it’s not a generic suggestion when he mentioned to us:

“I do think a lot of businesses could take a harder look at how they might partner in a non-competitive way with various suppliers, partners, customers, competitors on certain things just to make life easier for everybody.”

In our conversation with him, he also touched on the value of Wikipedia as a place for crowdsourced information, collected and dispersed from a central location. It’s a point he also made last fall at the Global Financial Leadership Conference, where he pointed out similarities between Wikipedia and the futures markets.

The video above is an edited version of our discussion.



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