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I recently listened to a radio segment that discussed James Surowiecki’s 2004 book, The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations, which argues that groups consistently make better decisions than any single member of the group.
Say, for example, that a crowd is asked to guess at the number of jelly beans in a jar. While it is highly unlikely that an individual will come up the correct answer on his own, the statistical mean of all the answers provided by the crowd is almost always uncannily correct. This phenomenon has been shown to work again and again across a variety of experiments.
This idea gave me comfort as I waited for Modern Infrastructure readers to deliver their verdict on the best, most “impactful” products to grace their data centers this year.
And deliver they did. In this, our first year holding these awards, readers cast nearly 3,000 votes across eight categories. In categories where they believed we had omitted a contender from the list of finalists, they didn’t hesitate to set the record straight, and wrote in their own nominees. Best of all, readers did more than simply check a box with their vote—they regaled editors and experts with colorful, detailed explanations about why they chose the way they did, making the task of selecting our winners that much easier.
To everyone who voted, my sincere thanks to you for sharing your wisdom and experience. Be assured that fellow readers will make good use of it.
And now, without further ado, see the winners of this year’s Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards! Congratulations to everyone who submitted a product and voted on a product, and of course, to the winners!
This was first published in December 2013