Book Summary: Machine Platform Crowd

Key points

  • Polanyi’s Paradox: We know more than we can tell – Michael Polanyi
  • GO as the main benchmark for intelligence
  • mastering Go with deep neural networks
  • utilizing the crowd


  • Machine: getting to human level intelligence
    • versus human mind
  • Platform: Facebook and AirBnb dominating their verticals with none of the traditional assets
    • versus products
  • Crowd: crowd sourcing of ideas and value
    • versus core – knowledges, processes, expertise, and capabilities companies have built over their supply chain

Machine Age phases

  • Phase 1: take over large amounts of routine work. mid-1990s
  • Phase 2: stuff of science fiction, performing non-routine work like self-driving. now

Machine versus human

  • Psychology – Daniel Kahneman
    • Fast thinking (intuition)
      • used as data point
      • show it lots of examples and give it frequent and rapid feedback about accuracy
    • Slow thinking (deliberate)
      • come to conclusion with it but taking data point from intuition
  • Proposed reversal:
    • machine take human judgement as input
    • instead of machine presenting data to human for judgement
  • Kids learn with no priorly defined rules
  • entrepreneurship very rewarding to individuals and societies
    • Machines not very good at large scale creativity and planning
    • humans are really good at it


  • Unbundling of offerings
  • Curation counters the corruptors
    • reputation system
    • keep out bad and encourage good
  • High reputation beats high similarity – stranger-danger biases
  • Information asymmetry leads to market breakdown

Crowd versus Core

  • new knowledge is constantly created
  • new knowledge slow to enter into core
  • Need core principals for crowd to come together to build things of great value
    • openness
    • noncredentialism
  • core is often mismatched for the problems its most interested in
    • knowledge comes from domain far away from problem itself
  • unbundling of the firm
  • managers fall back on process of iteration and experimentation
    • avoid biases and judgments
  • how technology is used is more important than how easy it is to access it


  • The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies
  • Why Fintech who kill Banks?

Leave a Reply