Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ideology: the third leg of a starfish network

As with the starfish, a decentralized network can lose one or two legs and still survive. But when you have all five legs working together, a decentralized network can really take off. In their book “The Starfish and the Spider” authors Rod Beckstrom and Ori Brafman identify five legs upon which a decentralized network stands:

Leg 3 – Ideology Ideology is the glue that holds decentralized networks together. It is more than a sense of community or the desire to create a better world. It is a common set of beliefs or values that inspire members to fight and sacrifice of themselves for a common cause. These common beliefs define the norms or values of the network, which in turn, dictate the cultural DNA. Since there is no central command and control structure in a decentralized network, a clearly defined ideology is central to controlling behaviors. The greater the common cause and the stronger the ideology, the longer the network will last.


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