Jason Fried of 37signals spoke last Friday at SXSW Interactive about the lessons he’s learned from building the successful, Chicago-based software company. All 14 lessons are priceless, but #9 stands out the most for me:
Lesson 9: Follow the Chefs
Jason called chefs the smartest business professionals. He explained this is because they are aware that you become famous and successful by giving knowledge away. For example, chefs have cooking shows and write cook books. Yet it doesn’t stop their restaurants from being successful. In fact, he claimed they are probably more successful because of their sharing.
Day 16 of 21 Days of Wiki Adoption focuses on what to do when people are reluctant to share their knowledge on a wiki, and in that video I suggest that you encourage people to start by sharing a little, and see what they get in return. They’ll get more recognition, heightened interest in their work, and new opportunities that would never have been possible before.
That’s precisely what happens when chefs share their recipes in cookbooks and techniques in their shows. More people go to their restaurants, buy their cookbooks, copy their techniques, and – perhaps most important of all – influence their friends to do the same.
You have the same opportunity with your own knowledge and the power of your organization’s social tools, like a wiki.