GOOGLERY: Bo Cowgills Boss misunderstands the Wisdom of Crowds.

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Google CEO Eric Schmidt:

[…] The book Wisdom of Crowds (by James Surowiecki) says that you have to have two things to make better decisions in groups. One is you need a deadline, which someone &#8212- at the end of the day is me or some external factor, and the second is that you need a dissident. There needs to be one person who will sit there in the room and say I disagree, and then the person next to him or her will say, &#8220-Well, yeah.&#8221- See, everyone waits for the first person to be the dissident, and then they pile on, and that&#8217-s how you have a healthy argument. […]

James Surowiecki:

Under what circumstances is the crowd smarter?

There are four key qualities that make a crowd smart. It needs to be diverse, so that people are bringing different pieces of information to the table. It needs to be decentralized, so that no one at the top is dictating the crowd&#8217-s answer. It needs a way of summarizing people&#8217-s opinions into one collective verdict. And the people in the crowd need to be independent, so that they pay attention mostly to their own information, and not worrying about what everyone around them thinks.

Question To Bo Cowgill: Would you mind releasing the transcript of your speech at Yahoo! confab?

UPDATE: He does not mind. :)

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Become “friend” with me on Google E-Mail so as to share feed items with me within Google Reader.
  • Nigel Eccles’ flawed “vision” about HubDub shows that he hasn’t any.
  • How does InTrade deal with insider trading?
  • Modern Life
  • “The Beacon” is an excellent blog published by The Independent Institute.
  • The John Edwards Non-Affair… is making Memeorandum (twice), again.
  • Prediction Markets = marketplaces for information trading… and for separating the wheat from the chaff.

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