Companies and projects focusing on large-scale collaboration might want to start thinking about collaboration in a new way. Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody closed out the second day of LinuxCon North America 2011 with a contrarian look at collaboration. While many treat collaboration as a "love fest" or harmonious interaction, Shirky put forward the idea that productive methods of fighting are the most successful, particularly in open source.
Linux not only produced an important technical work, but promoted the idea of mass collaboration taken up by things like Wikipedia. "Tiny changes of behavior by small fractions of the population" can make a huge difference, says Shirky. Why? Because we have a "cognative surplus" — when the whole world is your potential talent pool, you can see incredible successes.