Collaborarion Networks (and Entrepreneurship)

Just read Michael Nielsen’s article on the “Future of Science“, which is really about how the Culture of  The Science Profession is proving incompatible with the Culture on Online Collaboration. Shame.

Add science to the list of professions requiring collaboration, networking and communication skills to succeed. You know, like every other human pursuit in the world.

It seems ironic to me that the people dedicating their lives to the progress of knowledge struggle to adopt the latest products of human ingenuity. As Michael says in the article, the scientific journal process is a rigid institution that is proving tough to crack.

Culture drives technology, not vice versa.

(The thought struck me that companies are simply collections of collaboration networks. A new company, to succeed, needs to be an outstanding collaboration network, perhaps a novel one. Want to start a company? Well, figure out a new or interesting combination of people to work on a problem. Or find a common set of team skills doing the same work cheaper.)

Also, collective success is much more easily dispensed shared in companies. In the aggregate, stock options have produced more happiness than Nobel Prizes (the prizes themselves, I mean; obviously the ideas that win the prizes are a pretty big deal).

But I think that we tend to overestimate the impact that social media can have on the professional world. It’s great for sharing photos or mocking your friends, but is it really (like, really) going to change how we interact professionally?