Coolhunting describes and illustrates, in detail, the benefits of collaborative innovative networks, or “COINS”. The straight forward approach that authors Scott Cooper and Peter Gloor employ with simple diction and real world examples of COINS engages both the casual audience as well as those who are deeply intrigued with the idea of tapping into the power of collective thinking and brainstorming. I personally found this book to be enlightening and beneficial as I continue my research and case studies of various businesses.
Communication is one of the most difficult barriers for a company to overcome when conducting business on a global scale. Differences in language, culture, business practices, geography, logistics, and many more factors greatly impact the efficiency, productivity, public image, and morale of a company. The use of collaborative networks is not only beneficial, but is often a core competency of these companies. Major innovative companies such as 3M, Google, and Procter and Gamble not only make tremendous use of COINS but also build the use of these networks into respectable business models. The benefits of these networks has been known for some time among certain groups, but with the monumental paradigm shift in web communication from basic static pages to web 2.0, collaborative networks are now more widely accessible and taken advantage of by a much greater number of people within the context of forums, blogs, research, and profiles on social networking sites.
Personally, I took much interest in this book. I believe that collective thinking can prove very beneficial when analyzing issues and making progress in many different types of projects. For example, I considered the number of research papers and projects that are performed from grade school through postgraduate work. The vast majority of the findings from this research is typically shared between only a few people, either the teacher/professor, or with the classroom. Very rarely, is the research shared in the context of a forum, convention, or with others studying the same topics. Granted, not every research paper warrants being shared, and there are research methods and guidelines that should be respected and followed, there still remains a great amount of data that, once uncovered, becomes stale. There might be several others who have found similar findings, or would like to share their findings, opinions, or ideas with other people sharing a common interest. This is where the power of a COIN can reach its potential. What if people from around the school, city, state, country, or world could collaborate with each other and each make a contribution to the purpose? The efficiency and wealth of knowledge would be absolutely monumental. Much of the weakness that is involved with traditional research is the bias of the individual researcher. Along with any findings that a researcher uncovers, is the perspective that a geographical, socio-economical, and cultural background provides. In COINS we are actually able to help mitigate those biases by analyzing the data from various perspectives, allowing the objective of the research or project to remain in clearer focus.
In short, reading this book really opened my eyes to the power of utilizing networks in general. When those networks are focused, the results can be huge. Going forward in my projects and research the use of collaborative networks will play a vital position in what I do, so as to allow much broader analysis and more specific solutions to be made. I definitely recommend this book to anybody who likes to work with people, are looking for ways to take their research or business to the next level, are interested in marketing, or are simply curious to know how this concept has been implemented in some of the most successful cases in history.
Cooper, S. M., & Gloor, P. A. (2007). Coolhunting: chasing down the next big thing. New York, New York, United States of America: AMACOM.