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The heart of tech

This article was published on October 31, 2016

    Survival of the fittest

    Survival of the fittest
    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
    Story by

    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

    Founder & board member, TNW

    Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and pr.co. Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

    One of the most misunderstood quotes has to be ‘survival of the fittest’.

    Biologically speaking, people assume it means that only the strongest survive. But for us humans, ‘strong’ and ‘survival’ cover a plethora of aspects. From healthy and fit, to powerful and rich. What it should mean is ‘those most adaptable to change’.

    Blackberry was obviously the ‘fittest’ mobile company at the height of their success. As was Nokia. But their strengths didn’t include being agile and versatile – hence their downfall.

    The lesson here is that being nimble and more adaptable to change can be a huge advantage over an adversary who is big and powerful. Being able to pivot, act fast and comfortable in new circumstances are typical qualities you find in startups. But you won’t often see these traits in traditional companies that have been around for ages.

    Which means startups and small businesses should be watched very careful. They might not be rich, influential or big, but they are worthy opponents who will beat a bigger company with adaptability instead of raw strength.


    This is my introduction text for last week’s issue of our TNW Weekly update. You can read the whole newsletter here, or sign up to receive your own copy.