/ entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship and Anti-fragility

Nassim Nicholas Taleb talks about the concept of Anti-Fragility - things which gain from volatility

Interestingly Entrepreneurship is something which is Anti-Fragile by definition. You may lose small amounts in terms of expenses in finding the right problem to solve for, but once you find the right problem and the right market, you get an out-sized reward(hopefully).

Startups on the other hand are highly fragile as there needs to be a set of conditions which need to perfectly align for a startup to be successful. The timing should be right, you can't be too early or too late. The founding team should have the right skills for the type of business you are building. You should have enough money to grow at a fast rate. If any of these conditions are not met, a startup is doomed to fail.

But Entrepreneurship as a lifestyle for a person gains from volatility or stressors. Some of your startups may work, some may not, but along the way you build more resilience and experience to have a better intuition for the next venture. Its interesting how fragile components (startups) give rise to an anti-fragile lifestyle - a not so intuitive emergent property.

In working with complex adaptive systems, Nassim says, trial and error is a better approach than a teleological system in which you are focused on getting everything right. This is the modus operandi of startups, too launch an MVP quickly and learn fast. Lean Startup which is the war cry of current startup ecosystem beautifully encapsulates this. Because there are so many things which are unknown, you can't wait to nail down everything before proceeding. You need to start shooting with reasonable confidence and course correct on the fly.

If you think about it, this is also the only tool which nature uses in evolution. "Mistakes" is at the basis of all evolution - and it has led to complex and intelligent organisms like us humans.

So, don't let the unknowns bog you down. Keep trying - and sooner or later you will have an out-sized outcome. Anti-Fragility baby!