The Starfish and the SpiderMonday, October 23, 2006
So far I’m doing a horrible job of maintaining my ‘read a book each month’ resolution. So, in my attempt to catch up I recently started acquiring a bunch of books. The first being The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom (Amazon).
As others have mentioned, this book is kinda like a new ‘The Tipping Point’ in the sense that it looks at these societal phenomena and tries to simplify them. The book does that with two very clever metaphors: the starfish and the spider. A starfish is a creature that is decentralized. Cut off a leg and it grows back (and the leg becomes a new organism). If you cut off the head of a spider, though, it dies.
Some of the most successful groups have been decentralized. Alcoholics Anonymous, Wikipedia, even eBay has an element of decentralization to it. The point is, there are a lot of groups that require a certain level of decentralization; they need to find the sweet spot.
I enjoyed this book because it looked at a lot of cool subjects (from abolitionism to craigslist) and analyzed this underlying reason for their widespread success. I enjoyed it so much I took it to the gym for two days and finished the 200 pages in record time. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone because it takes very detailed observations and makes them easy to understand. 10/10
Note: I decided that I want to track my book reviews so I took the movie rating plugin found on the bottom site and created a a
book review plugin.