Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Bioanalogy of an agile team

(If) firms are breaking up into smaller, agile units, the economy will resemble the human brain - dense, dispersed clusters of small inter-related units (neurons!) forming transient, agile patterns, constantly being remodelled.

There are 4 components to the system you could copy:
  1. be a neuron - basically small firms, startups, road warrior consultants and creatives;
  2. be a synapse between neurons: the service that lets neurons talk to one another, form temporary networks and memories;
  3. be the extracellular matrix - half incubator, half director, it's the YCombinator of the brain on which every neuron finds its position and develops under its occasional signals.
  4. be the blood supply - the main supply of resources (multimillion VC?), but *not* directly involved with neurons. Often aligned with the neurons via the extracellular matrix. 5
  5. be the skull (i think government's already got that one figured out pretty good)
This century, if the economy is edge-bound, is certainly going to need some damn good synapses and extracellular matrix. A shakeout is also needed to weed out the underperforming neurons.