Books for an Enterprise 2.0 Canon

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Venkatesh Rao, Contributor

December 17, 2008

4 Min Read

About 8 months ago, in April, I posted an article on my blog titled "A Map of the World 2.0 Canon" that tried to visualize how the emerging popular literature on the impact of 2.0 could be organized. The post went mildly viral. Here's the visualization I came up with, and links to reviews to most of the books I included back then. Read the full piece if the logic of the diagram doesn't leap out at you. Probably time to drop/add some books, so any suggestions? For those of you who've been lazy about keeping up, this might make for some good Cliff Notes level material to help you fake it.


The Reviews and One-Line AbstractsI am linking to my reviews where I have them, and to Amazon where I don''t. For a book without a review (the starred ones), if you think you have a good one, send me a link.First, the horizontals

  1. The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman*

  2. Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams

  3. Jump Point by Tom Hayes

Now for the pizza slices, clockwise from 12 o'' clock, with descriptions of what each covers

  1. Workforce 2.0: Free Agent Nation by Dan Pink* covers the changing nature of the labor markets

  2. Thinking 2.0: Whole New Mind by Dan Pink covers the styles of thinking that are likely to dominate

  3. Marketing 2.0: Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, which bumps Naked Conversations by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel* to second place. Covers the impact of blogs on marketing and other market-facing roles.

  4. Intelligence 2.0: The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki is the Bible of crowdsourcing, but usually used to analyze consumer market phenomena like Wikipedia more than enterprise equivalents.

  5. Law 2.0: The Future of the Internet-And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain. The definitive treatment of the legal and IP culture. Something by Lawrence Lessig also probably belongs as a runner-up. Any nominations?

  6. Attitude 2.0: The Age of Speed by Vince Poscente manages to grab a small but very important slice - the acceleration-of-everything aspect

  7. Organization 2.0: The somewhat creaky and rusty The Cathedral & the Bazaar by Eric Raymond* remains the best treatment of Open Source models of organizing work.

  8. Technology 2.0: The Big Switch by Nicholas Carr covers what is happening to the underlying technology. This one was hard for me, since I wanted to make it a horizontal ‘circle'' layer but couldn''t justify it. It remains a pizza slice, albeit a big and important one.

  9. Geography 2.0: Who''s Your City by Richard Florida, bringing to a conclusion his long exploration of the creative class, explores the new nature of physical geography. It is a very broad pizza slice - another one that almost made it as a foundational broad book.

  10. Demographics 2.0: Generation Blend by Rob Salkowitz is the best treatment I''ve seen so far of the demographic aspects - 4 generations in one cataclysmic time

  11. Economics 2.0: Chris Anderson''s Free (currently a Wired cover story) is going to be a bestseller and will likely be the classic on the economic aspects of World 2.0.

  12. Innovation 2.0: Open Innovation by Henry Chesbrough has been the classic on enterprise innovation 2.0 for a long time, but could now be threatened, since its coverage is beginning to be slightly obsolete. Write another Henry (Open Business Models didn''t cut it!)

  13. Management 2.0: Competing on Analytics by Tom Davenport and Jeanne Harris is a sleeper hit that the more iPod-happy consumer end of the literature hasn''t paid much attention to - it is fast becoming the bible of data-driven management for an era of data abundance (data scarcity has been the dominant unwritten assumption of much management writing pre-2000). It is likely to be supplanted by a broader book though.

  14. Market 2.0: The Long Tail by Chris Anderson* is the anchor text of modern market strategy for a world driven by hyper-personalization and customization for niches.

  15. Work 2.0: The Dip by Seth Godin is seriously important for a key reason - it is not packaged as such, but it is actually the best treatment of what to do about the attention-scarcity economy, even though that is not the book''s focal point. It squeezes out Davenport''s more direct treatment, The Attention Economy.* It is, in a sense, also a sideways-antithesis to The Long Tail.

  16. Brand 2.0: Made to Stick is probably the only credible treatment of the nature of viral information ''stickiness'', but will likely be displaced.

  17. Career 2.0: And circling back to Dan Pink, Johnny Bunko is going to be the career workbook of the go-getters in Gen Y.

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