PROBLEM: Imagine its 1995 and you sit down with a Professor of Business.
You tell the Professor ,”I’m going to describe two encyclopedias—one just out and the other to be launched in a few years. You have to predict which one will be more successful .
The first encyclopedia comes from Microsoft, a large, profitable company with a reputation for quality and track record for achieving its business objectives. Microsoft will fund this encyclopedia. It will hire and pay big salaries to the top experts in all areas to make the encyclopedia the most comprehensive and up to date. Highly paid managers will oversee the project to make sure its completed on budget and on time. Then Microsoft will sell it on CD-Roms.”
“ The second encyclopedia won’t come from a company. It will be created by tens of thousands of people who write and edit articles for fun. These hobbyists won’t need any special qualifications to participate and nobody will be paid a dollar to write or edit any of the articles. Participants will have to contribute their labor 20 to 30 hours a week for free. The encyclopedia itself, which will exist online, will also be free. No charge for anyone who wants to use it. “
ASSIGNMENT: Make believe you are the Professor. What is your answer? Which encyclopedia will be the largest and most popular in the world and which one will be a failure.