Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Antifragile Systems Require Fragile Components – Startups and Failure


In antifragility,  for a system antifragile, the individual parts will often be fragile. Think of building stronger muscle in your body. A hard workout actually breaks the muscle fibers, then they grow back bigger and stronger.    This makes the system stronger, but if you happen to be that individual muscle fiber who was broken, you don’t feel antifragile– you feel broken!

Considering an antifragile startup ecosystem, it is important to acknowledge that startups themselves are incredibly fragile. They will break.  They will fail. Some of the entrepreneurs who launch full time into a change the world, build-the-next-whatever crusade, will go nowhere and end up doing something different. They may even raise tons of money and hire big teams. In order for the system as a whole to become more resilient and antifragile, it is necessary that some of these must fail.

Here’s the neat part about having a system though.

When those do fail, a strong system will support them and rebuild them into something else.  High density community like the Atlanta Tech Village (and the entire Atlanta startup rainforest, as I’m seeing it grow right now), is robust and healthy such that the individuals involved in the fragile components will find another, and another, and another opportunity to succeed.

Our goal for the community and our mission at the Village is that the connections between talent, ideas, and capital happen faster.  “Faster” is the keyword.  We aren’t trying to help build a system where everybody who starts a company thrives. We want you to find success or failure faster, and if you find the later, we want you to find the next capital, idea, and talent faster.   I guess you could say we want the city of Atlanta to be the protein shake after that hard workout.


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