Why the starfish?

You may have noticed a starfish logo alongside coworking logos and web sites. Why?

It traces back to the origins of coworking as a decentralized movement. When Tara Hunt and Chris Messina discovered what Brad Neuberg was doing with the original coworking project, they realized that they were onto something that lots and lots of other people could benefit from.

Tara, Chris, and their collaborators conspired to take the idea of coworking, with Brad’s permission, and make it something that anyone could share, remix and spread across the globe.

To do that, they created online spaces that could be administered by a wide group of volunteers, so no one person was in charge. From the very beginning, coworking was an open source thing that anyone could become a part of.

A starfish is a decentralized organism.

Starfish are fascinating creatures, because they don’t have any one central brain. If you cut a starfish in half, two starfish will grow!

In the book “The Starfish and The Spider,” Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom draw the contrast between the centralized organism, symbolized by the spider, and the distributed model of the starfish.

They argue in favor of the benefits of the decentralized approach, which sits in contrast to traditional business and organizational thinking.

You know the word coworking because of this. 

Tara and Chris had this in mind when they created this site, the Coworking Google Group, and the Coworking Wiki—all things that many people can and have contributed to.

In doing so, they laid the foundation that allowed thousands of people to rally around the word—coworking—as a way of describing what they wanted and what they were doing.

As a result, coworking is now a household name.

Further reading: