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Showing 1-2 of 2 reviews(3 star). Show all reviews
on August 19, 2008
I was quite eager to read "The Starfish and the Spider" given some great recommendations from others. However, once i purchased it and dove into it I was unfortunately disappointed. Despite having a high readability and ease (a credit to the work) I found the actual content of this book simplistic and repetitive.

The authors make some interesting connections between the nature of starfish, spiders, apache indians, some innovative companies but they generally dip into the same well's too often. Frequently citing the same handful of companies and metaphors, what begins as an insightful read becomes laborious.

In addition to the several references to Craigslist, Wikipedia and other companies, they invest a significant amount of writing about catalyst - a concept (though worded differently) is more aptly handled by Malcolm Gladwell in "The Tipping Point".

Ultimately, a 30 minute internet search regarding this book (and it's concepts) would provide an interested reader with exactly the same insights and material as they would purchasing the book. My advice: check it out from the library or google: starfish spider reviews.
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on January 7, 2012
The biggest problem I had with the book was inconsitency of thoughts. They tried to apply the concept of starfish or high decentralization to everything from eMule to GM, from Internet based networks to large business. There is also confusing and somehow upsetting mixing of social movement initiatives that defy some sort of authorities and organizations where everything is about money and profits. Overall, most confusing.

The fact that decentralization and delegation of power always induces creativity and commitment is well known to anybody interested in management or just represents a common sense. Yet, there is that new phenomenon of possibility of large networks not bound by space that errupted because of Internet. That creates all host of new opportunities and completely changes the game if Internet can be involved in any way. That is very interesting and thought provoking.

If it taken as some complementary reading for people interested in the topics of organizational effectiveness, it can be OK. Yet, I don't even understand how new these ideas are, probably not that new. But if you hope to discover some ultimate wisdom how to run organization - you will be wasting your time. It is way more complex than such superficial glance.
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