Five principles for successful mass collaboration, part 1

Linux has succeeded as a product only because the community that supports it has organised itself systematically to create, share, test, reject, and develop ideas in a way that flouts conventional wisdom. Successful We-Think projects are based on five key principles that were all present in Linux. Here are the first two.


Everything has to start somewhere. Somebody has to be willing to work harder than everyone else or nothing ends up getting done. Innovative communities invariably start with a gift of knowledge provided by someone, just as Linux started with the kernel that Linus Torvalds slaved over and which he posted on the Internet.

A good core attracts a community of capable contributors and developers around it. The kernel has to be solid but unfinished, so open to improvement; if it were already complete there would be few opportunities to add to it. Jane McGonigal says the core to a successful game like I Love Bees depends on the starting-point being ambiguous and open to interpretation.