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Machine, Platform, Crowd

Harnessing Our Digital Future
Narrated by: Jeff Cummings
Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the authors of the best-selling The Second Machine Age, a leader's guide to success in a rapidly changing economy.

We live in strange times. A machine plays the strategy game Go better than any human; upstarts like Apple and Google destroy industry stalwarts such as Nokia; ideas from the crowd are repeatedly more innovative than corporate research labs.

MIT's Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson know what it takes to master this digital-powered shift: we must rethink the integration of minds and machines, of products and platforms, and of the core and the crowd. In all three cases, the balance now favors the second element of the pair, with massive implications for how we run our companies and live our lives.

In the tradition of agenda-setting classics like Clay Christensen's The Innovator's Dilemma, McAfee and Brynjolfsson deliver both a penetrating analysis of a new world and a toolkit for thriving in it. For startups and established businesses, or for anyone interested in what the future holds, Machine, Platform, Crowd is essential listening.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What members say

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  • Dan Collins
  • 2017-08-11

Both How AND Why for Techies

Being a technology professional I am sometimes frustrated by books that are not technical enough or if they are technical enough, do not consider the social aspect of technology adoption. This book does a remarkable job in dismantling the hype and buzz around these topics and replacing it with an exciting and compelling view of what is and will be soon happening. This book is the best I have read on the topic of crowd and platform and how it is changing the IT landscape. If you are a technology leader you must read this book!

14 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew C
  • 2017-09-01

1st chapter is dull, but keep reading

Any additional comments?

At the onset of this book, it seemed like it was going to be a very surface level book that jumps around citing several key business minds like Clay Christensen. This turned out to be quite wrong as I continued into the machine section. Within the section, I appreciated clarification of key concepts like supervised learning and AGI, being informed of the latest machine learning related successes and failures, and where the technology is going and what it will take to get it there. The same was true with the following chapters with the introduction of several novel concepts I have never heard before such as incomplete contracts law, polanyi's paradox, transaction cost economics, combinatorial innovation, and others, as well as more pop culture economic concepts like compliments being applied in areas I never would have thought of had I not read this book. I have not read First Machine Age so I'm not sure how this would change my feedback, but regardless I think this book is worth it as it will make you look at the emerging economy in a different way as well as training your business intuition through many recent case studies of success and failure in the 'digital economy.' Great read!

12 people found this helpful

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  • Midnight Ride
  • 2018-08-05

Brutally basic

Unless you have never seen or studied tech history you will find this to be a dozen hours of platitudes and generalities packaged as insights. There is nothing wrong with the authors’ work, but there is almost nothing new.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Maarten
  • 2018-01-23

Good read if you're running a platform

This is a great book. It peels off all the hype and explains most of the concepts in a very clear way. I liked the crowd-chapters the most because there were sound explanations for how a crowd might behave.

Crowds do often behave quite irrationally, and might be more stubborn than you'd expect. I would recommend this book if you're in the business of running a platform or similar service (like a community website).

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anthony Goldbloom
  • 2017-07-06

Tomorrow's dominant companies

What made the experience of listening to Machine, Platform, Crowd the most enjoyable?

We all intuitively know that the business world is being transformed by companies like Amazon and Google. This book shows us the characteristics of those companies that have helped them become so transformative and gives us a sense for the characteristics of companies that are going to dominate the next era of business.

6 people found this helpful

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  • CB
  • 2018-06-14

not worth it

Shallow. Adds little or nothing to the "discussion." Have you heard of Uber etc? How about bitcoin? How about the game of Go? Did you know that data / metrics /algorithms are better than people at making decision? .... you get the picture.

4 people found this helpful

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  • D Willis
  • 2017-07-17

Not as good as Second Machine Age;

Still worth a listen. Nice stories and perspectives, but concepts not as novel as Second Machine Age.

6 people found this helpful

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  • V. Taras
  • 2019-01-04

Recycled Material, Shallow, Outdated

The Authors probably had some material left after they wrote The Second Machine Age, so they threw it in a pot and called it a new book. It's good stuff, but if you read The Second Machine Age and other books on the topic, you'll find this one very trivial and shallow. Plus, it's outdated stuff. Repeating again how Uber does not own any cars and Airbnb does not own any hotels, and how Facebook changed how we communicate and entertain ourselves - come on! This was news in 2016. By now, everyone has heard about these companies, knows how they work.
So as the first book on the topics of sharing economy, automation, and AI - it's OK. Read it. You'll find it useful, although you really should have read something like this 3-4 years ago. If you're not entirely new to the topic, you'll find this book a seeming random collection of recycled anecdotes and trivial generalizations and insights.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lucy X. Wang
  • 2018-04-15

Awesome book on an extremely timely topic

What did you love best about Machine, Platform, Crowd?

Keep me up to date with stories in a digital age and the economics behind them. The book is very well organized and provides systematical yet easy to understand characterization of the digital economy and its enormous potentials.

Who was your favorite character and why?

NA

Which character – as performed by Jeff Cummings – was your favorite?

NA

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

applications in biomedical industry - fantastic and surprising at the same time!

Any additional comments?

Thanks for providing audible books on those topics - it's tough for non-metro residences to get as much information systematically in an easy-to-digest way without this channel.

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  • saiperenyilmaz
  • 2018-02-23

Superb

The book is based on a comprehensive research, narrative is succint and fluid, reader's performance is great.

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  • mikus
  • 2019-12-16

Generic and hardly applicable

I can hardly imagine the target group of this book. If you have been hibernated for past 2 decades or simply didn't follow the recent developments it surely may be a good position to catch up. On the other hand, if you have any understanding of terms like iphone, bitcoin or cloud computing you will most likely find it boring and repetitive.
To be fair, most of the topics are well explained, using basic vocabulary and real-world examples. For some people, outside the IT industry it may be eyes opening experience. However, I have found some of the thesis specified there quite optimistic or already untrue.

Each chapter finishes with a set of questions, which are supposed to force reader to rethink his own business. I cannot imagine how it turns a typical company into an ultra modern money-making machine, but if you want to change something in your company and don't know where to start, well, this may help with some inspirations.