Review: The Wisdom of Crowds

I’ve just finished reading The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki (new window). It’s a fascinating book on how groups of people make decisions.

I’m sure most people are familiar with the competition where you have to guess the number of beans in a jar. If you take a room full of people and take the average of all their guesses, the average will almost always be within 3% of the actual answer and the average will be a better guess than almost everyone in the room made individually. An interesting book to read on this Election day in the United States.

It’s a fascinating book with some very interesting insights into the behaviours of crowds and their decisions. There are some wonderful examples from arenas as wide as Zara (the fashion retailer) and the stock markets to sports betting or decision markets. An excellent read, highly recommended from the desk of me!

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