In The Connected Company, Dave Gray describes a form of organisation in which (semi) autonomous pods provide services and deliver value to each other and (end) customers on a shared platform.
In this Google Groups post, Dave explains why he chose the term pods. One of the reasons was:
Pod is also a term used to describe biological things, such as an insect egg casing or a casing for seeds, it also has biological connotations.
Pod is also the name for groups of some animals such as whales and dolphins. Thinking about this meaning I started to think about the environments all beings live in. In biology, the term substrate describes such an environment. In the context of The Connected Company, the platform is (part of) just this environment in which the pods exist and act.
To me, this biology metaphor is powerful–even if perhaps not exactly what Dave originally intended when selecting the term: groups of individuals living together and acting with joint purpose in a shared environment.