October 19, 2006
Starfish and the Spider
I attended a book launch party in New York recently to celebrate the launch of The Starfish and the Spider, held interestingly enough at the British consulate's house on the Upper East Side. While I know both authors personally and could probably have received an early version, my now autographed copy sits on my bedside waiting to be read. I'm a little late to the game however, as major media outlets have already begun to sing its praises and more are coming I'm told.
Funny name for a business book you may be thinking? It's really a book about life in a changing world - organizations, worldwide political networks and people. Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom have taken a very creative approach to looking at centralized vs decentralized -- the growing grassroots explosion from a world of new media and individual voices.....says Steve Jurvetson, 'it provides a powerful prism for understanding the patterns and potential of self-organizing systems."
The creation of Starfish and the Spider came right after 9/11 when they set forth on a journey. In addition to the creative force in the book, both Ori and Rod have a passion for making the world a better place and adding more joy to people's lives around them.
Essentially in this paradigm, organizations fall into two categories: traditional 'spiders,' which have rigid hierarchy and top-down leadership, and revolutionary 'starfish' which rely on the power of peer relationships. Know a few in each category?
The book takes a look at what happens when starfish take on spiders (Napster) versus more established players like IBM and the even the U.S. government who must now integrate starfish to attain sustainable success. More after I have a chance to read it. Guys, it's on the bedside table :-) not the bookshelf.
Below is Jon Benjamin, the British Deputy Consul-General giving a word of thanks. I had an opportunity to chat with him - not only is he engaging, diplomatic and smart as you would expect a British consul-general to be, but he is funny, incredibly generous and remarkably down-to-earth.
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They're fantastic people. Great photo!
Posted by: Ben Casnocha | Oct 20, 2006 6:27:19 AM
I had the pleasure of hearing and seeing Ori's presentation of the Starfish and the Spider in a powerpoint mode. Ori provided a complimentary copy and I have found the book a highly readable illustration of the power of leaderless organizations. Just googling the book title shows how the authors have leveraged the power of the Internet to promote their book.
Fortunately for me, the googling also found you - another example of the reach of the search engine and the serendipity of finding another blogger whose values are in synch with mine.
I surfed a bit to find your post on blogging and this quote: " Go into that favorite room and voice “it.” That voice, “your voice,” is what makes us feel passionate and alive. Certainly not an un-noble way to live."
Posted by: dave davison | Nov 8, 2006 7:43:03 AM