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Strategy and Handbook for decentralized organizations

Corporates have to be afraid of a lot of things. Startups and decentralized tech teams can outperform them when committing to performance-based - no-bullshit work culture. Rework by Jason Fried is a perfect handbook for decentralized organizations. Tools that used to be out of reach are now easily accessible. Technology that cost thousands is now just a few pounds or even free.

The Starfish and the Spider.

The Starfish and the Spider analogy outlined the principles of remote organizations. The famous book revealed how established companies and institutions, from IBM to Intuit to the US government, are also learning how to incorporate starfish principles to achieve success.

Synopsis: If you cut off a spider’s leg, it’s crippled; if you cut off its head, it dies. But if you cut off a starfish’s leg it grows a new one, and the old leg can grow into an entirely new starfish.

  • What’s the hidden power behind the success of Wikipedia, Craigslist, and Skype?
  • What do eBay and General Electric have in common with the abolitionist and women’s rights movements?
  • What fundamental choice put General Motors and Toyota on vastly different paths?
  • How could winning a Supreme Court case be the biggest mistake MGM could have made?

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.

The Starfish and the Spider explores what happens when starfish take on spiders (such as the music industry vs. Napster, Kazaa, and the P2P services that followed). 

The book explores:

  • How the Apaches fended off the powerful Spanish army for 200 years
  • The power of a simple circle
  • The importance of catalysts who have an uncanny ability to bring people together
  • How the Internet has become a breeding ground for leaderless organizations
  • How Alcoholics Anonymous has reached untold millions with only a shared ideology and without a leader

— 

The Starfish and the Spider
by Ori Brafman
Publisher Penguin
Pages 240
ISBN-10 1101216409
ISBN-13 9781101216408
Release Date 2006-10-05

Remote organizations are adopting faster.

Remote organizations and decentralized tech teams can outperform them when committing to performance-based – no-bullshit work culture. Rework by Jason Fried is a perfect handbook for decentralized organizations. Tools that used to be out of reach are now easily accessible. Technology that cost thousands is now just a few pounds or even free.

Corporates have a lot to lose.

We need a different approach to innovation and implementation when comparing Startups versus Corporates. To quote Steve Blank: “In the last few years, we’ve recognized that a startup is not a smaller version of a large company. We’re now learning that Corporates are not larger versions of Startups.”.

Corporates have to be afraid of things like:

Reputational damage – When a client or corporate data is involved in the product development process, failures may damage the brand and reputation.

Lost investment – Many startups fail, so corporates’ investment risk is high compared to their usual investment projects.

Misaligned employees – Corporate employees are trained to follow processes and regard failure as jeopardizing their careers. They might feel threatened by the startups’ unfamiliar culture and remain overly protective of the status quo.

Uncertain outcome – When projects include unfinished products or work with startup entrepreneurs and inexperienced teams, results are difficult to predict.

Maturity misalignment – When corporates engage with startups proposing a new business model or a new technology that the corporate enterprise is not yet ready to adopt or to experiment with, this inherently leads to a fruitless collaboration.

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