Archive for the ‘Interesting Books’ Category

Great read: The Starfish & the Spider

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

The Starfish and the Spider - Great read

Just finished reading a book called ‘The Starfish and the Spider’ which was fascinating and really made me think about how social media is affecting traditional businesses.

If you are into Social media you will love this book and even if you aren’t it will really open your eyes to what a decentralized business can do to a centralized business…and the speed most importantly!!

The authors use the following analogy: If you cut off a spider’s head, it dies; if you cut off a starfish’s leg it grows a new one, and that leg can grow into an entirely new starfish. Traditional top-down organizations are like spiders, but now starfish organizations are changing the face of business and the world.

Some of these Starfish businesses they talk about include Wikipedia, Craigslist, eBay and Skype? The book also explores what happens when starfish take on spiders (such as the music industry vs. Napster, Kazaa, and the P2P services that followed).

However and what really fascinated me, is that it shows how these decentralized organizations started way before internet and in fact computers with examples such as the Apaches & AA. Its interesting to see (with hindsight) how the Internet and social media has been utilized from these more old fashioned decentralized ‘communities’

The Starfish and the Spider argues that organizations fall into two categories: traditional “spiders,” which have a rigid hierarchy and top-down leadership, and revolutionary “starfish,” which rely on the power of peer relationships.

I would highly recommend this book as you’ll never see things the same way again and will definitely read some of the other books written by the authors Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom (and no I don’t know them…YET! ?)