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8 Examples of Antifragile

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Antifragile is a system or entity that isn't easily broken, damaged, compromised or defeated. The term is associated with risk taking and exposure to stresses that allow a system or entity to become more robust and resilient. The following are illustrative examples.


Children with freedom to play gain experience of things such as unfairness, uncertainty and failure that prepare them for real world conditions. If adults always step in to correct each unfairness between children, preempt every mistake and enforce excessive rules, a child may not develop to their full potential.

Information Security

A high profile information technology company such as a major search engine faces a large number of information security attacks each month that make it more resilient to future attacks.


A project manager who has had a few big projects fail is better at preventing failure than a newbie.


A snowboarder who is accustomed to falling at high speed may become good at falling. Likewise, a surfer may become adept at handling ocean conditions that would be likely to drown a regular person.


A person who often pitches their bravest ideas in a high pressure situation may get good at handling criticism.

Lindy Effect

The lindy effect is the observation that the life expectancy of some types of things increases as they survive longer. For example, the life expectancy of a technology such as the bicycle that has already lasted for 200 years may be longer than a new technology such as the smart watch with a shorter track record.

Fail Often

Fail often is a common approach to innovation whereby you try a large number of brave ideas with experiments that are designed to fail well such that failure isn't a problem but expected. This allows for a large number of experiments designed to find unusually valuable products or methods.

Barbell Strategy

Investing some of your resources conservatively while taking risks with the rest. For example, a musician who works a day job while working towards a professional music career on nights and weekends.
Overview: Antifragile
A system or entity that gains capabilities and resilience from a survivable level of stress, volatility, uncertainty, noise, failures or attacks.
Originated By
Nassim Nicholas Taleb in the 2012 book Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
Also Known As
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Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, 2012.


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