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.
PlayChildren 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.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.
ProjectsA project manager who has had a few big projects fail is better at preventing failure than a newbie.
SafetyA 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.
CriticismA person who often pitches their bravest ideas in a high pressure situation may get good at handling criticism.
Lindy EffectThe 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 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 StrategyInvesting 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.
This is the complete list of articles we have written about risks.
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ReferencesNassim Nicholas Taleb. Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, 2012.
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