About Andrew McAfee

Andrew McAfee studies the ways that information technology (IT) affects businesses and business as a whole. His research investigates how IT changes the way companies perform, organize themselves, and compete. At a higher level, his work also investigates how computerization affects competition, society, the economy, and the workforce.

He and Erik Brynjolfsson are co-authors of the ebook Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy. The book brings together a range of data, examples, and research to show that the average US worker is being left behind by advances in technology.

He coined the phrase “Enterprise 2.0” in a spring 2006 Sloan Management Review article to describe the use of Web 2.0 tools and approaches by businesses. He also began blogging at that time, both about Enterprise 2.0 and about his other research. McAfee’s blog is widely read, becoming at times one of the 10,000 most popular in the world (according to Technorati). He also maintains a Facebook profile and Twitter account.

In addition to the blog that is part of this site, McAfee also writes a blog as part of harvardbusiness.org’s “HBR Voices.” His posts are also regularly reprinted at forbes.com.

McAfee’s book on Enterprise 2.0 was published in November 2009 by Harvard Business School Press.

In the July / August 2008 issue of Harvard Business Review McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson published “Investing in the IT that Makes a Competitive Difference,” a summary of their research investigating IT’s links to changes in competition. This work was the first to reveal that competition began to heat up in the US in the mid 1990s —  to become faster paced, more turbulent, and more winner-take-all —  and that this acceleration was greater in industries that spent more on IT.  This research continues, and continues to highlight that technology appears to be significantly reshaping the landscape of competition.

McAfee is the author or co-author of more than 100 articles, case studies and other materials for students and teachers of technology. This work has convinced him that modern information technology is the most powerful tool available to business leaders, yet also the most misunderstood and under-appreciated resource at their disposal.

He has written columns for the Washington Post, the Financial Times, and Canadian Manager, and been a guest on the Charlie Rose show.

In 2008 McAfee was named by the editors of the technical publishing house Ziff-Davis number 38 in their list of the “100 Most Influential People in IT.” He was also named by Baseline magazine to a separate, unranked list of the 50 most influential people in business IT that year. In 2009 he was the only non-executive in the Everything Channel’s group of the 100 most influential executives in the technology industry.

He speaks frequently to both academic and industry audiences, and has taught in executive education programs around the world.

McAfee is currently a principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business in the MIT Sloan School of Management. He was previously a professor at Harvard Business School and a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

He received his Doctorate from Harvard Business School, and completed two Master of Science and two Bachelor of Science degrees at MIT.

He can be contacted by email at this address.

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  • agorri

    Hi Andrew, Just saw the 'stump' speech at MES West… I guess it all felt very familiar, but then I work for a tech company that already does everything you discussed. Have you had feedback from companies that after listening to you they had some kind of lightbulb moment that shifted them in the direction of Enterprise 2.0? Either way, looking forward to following your insight going forward.

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    Hi Andrew,

    I just read your article in this month's HBR. I wanted to thank you for giving voice to the concerns that I have to address as the technical lead on an Enterprise 2.0 project. You have given me several insights as well for things that I should be on the look out for. Thank you.

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    Andrew – Met you at the Gartner event. Great presentation. Our conversation was along the lines of once an organization decides to reinvent itself and provide all kinds of new culture shaping tools and user interfaces, how does it prepare itself? how does it sustain the adoption? The company I work for provides a global platform that enables an organization to transform itself within months as opposed to years. CEO's love the time to value in my model. The problem is the organization and CEO for that matter need special coaching we (my company) simply don't provide. Are you aware of companies or individuals that specialize this type of organizational consulting?

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    Hi Andrew,

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    I am replying here to your recent Forbes Commentary (Why Geeks Hate the iPad) wit a view to minimize abusive commercial use of my email address.

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  • Ellen M Kowalczyk

    I just read your Commentary in Forbes on “Rising Above Tech's Temptations.” It was excellent.

  • Singhmaharaj

    I was among the first person to get the copy of the book “Enterprise 2.0″ . I have been using few of the technologies described in the book but never thought that it is possible to use them at organizational level.

    I have studied, worked and lived in China, SE Asia and India. I have been trying to find answer to one question: Will the Enterprise 2.0 technologies be accepted by organizations in Asia, where organizational hierarchy matters a lot. It is considered negative to even put forth your views if they do not match with what your superiors think. In such environment how such technologies can be implemented, how successful will it be if implemented and what would be the consequences? I am really interested to know answers to these questions. If you have covered these questions in your research please share the thoughts. If you have not touched these topics; I would personally want to work on them.

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    great internet or not panel discussion yesterday at boston book fest. thanks and we look forward to reading enterprise 2.0!

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  • Tony Carpenter

    Andrew just read the article Taking The Social Media Plunge: learning to let go.
    I found this to be right on and a good reminder to keep utilizing social media for both productivity and business.

    I’ve been in sales since I graduated college in 1998. I’ve gone from “why would I need an email account in 1994″ to FB addict. I was a technical recruiter during the dot.com crash. Laid off after 9/11. I left that industry for the mortgage industry, where after 4 prosperous years I was laid off 3 times in 20 months not due to lack of business…my employers kept going under. I think this hits home for me quite a bit especially the mission statement…head down..etc.

    You mentioned that people may or may not use the media maturely and productively. I get a lot of business from Facebook AND I waste a lot of time on Facebook. People have work/personal contact information. They could have work and personal social networking information. Andrew’s FB Work page, Andrews FB personal.

    One company reluctance could be fear of lawsuit. Employees do stupid things and it could leave them exposed to a lawsuit. It might be hard to filter out some of the offense material or content that not everyone wants.

    These media etc seem to evolve faster than we can master them. Especially if there is a lack of knowledge. Some people still do not have cell phones, know how to text, understand email, attachments etc. (I call these people ‘free’)

    I think the mantra being sought lies somewhere between what we’ve been programmed to look for. Find something you love to do, get paid for it, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life. People are trying to balance this. I don’t think everyone can be trusted to discover it on their own. Some need to be saved from their own inefficiencies. But good stuff, keep it coming.
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    As an employee of one of the companies you mentioned in your article for Fortune I can tell you that, no, employees are not trusted using any electronic media. I am actively discouraged by my “manager” from reading Fortune, Money, WSJ or anything that is not posted internally about the company by the company.

    As for anything such as Facebook, blogs or messageboards – we are threatened with discliplinary action if we are “caught” during “working hours” using these tools (even if it IS for the benefit of our products). (As a matter of fact, I’m literally trembling with anxiety at the thought of posting here for fear of being found out!)

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