In an inflammatory New Yorker piece last month, Malcolm Gladwell argued that the revolution will not, in fact, be tweeted. Gladwell’s argument that social media isn’t enabling genuine political change elicited a predictable storm of protest – from Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Ev Williams to the co-founder of Hunch, Chris Dixon. Even Paul Carr, Techcrunch’s slightly more coiffeured version of Malcolm Gladwell, leapt into the fray, defending the poor, persecuted New Yorker writer against the retweeting mob.
Last month also saw the publication of Don Tapscott’s latest magnum opus, Macrowikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World, a follow up to his best-selling 2007 book Wikinomics (both co-authored with Tapscott’s long time collaborator Anthony Williams). In Macrowikinomics, Canada’s leading digital guru takes the polar opposite position to Gladwell, arguing that democratic networks like Twitter and Facebook are fundamentally changing our world, revolutionizing everything from education to healthcare to politics to media. Social media represents “a turning point in history,” Tapscott predicts in Macrowikinomics. It will, he promises, enable us to literally “reindustrialize the planet.”
So it was with relish that I caught up yesterday with Don Tapscott via Skype to learn more about how we got from Wikinomics to Macrowikinomics, how our industrial world is broken and what the entrepreneur can do to reboot civilization. And, of course, I couldn’t resist asking him whether he agreed with Malcolm Gladwell that the revolution won’t be tweeted.
Why Our World is Broken
A Five Minute History of the Last Five Hundred Years
How We Can Put Our World Back Together Again
How Entrepreneurs Can Reboot the World
Tapscott to Gladwell: “You’re Just Dead Wrong.”