Blute Blog

Blute's blog about evolutionary theory: biological, sociocultural and gene-culture.

Evolutionary Lessons in How to Succeed

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  1. Most cultural like most biological innovations fail (most papers that are published are rarely cited, most patents that are granted are never utilized and most new businesses and new products fail for example). As early as 1979 I gathered information supporting such generalizations from a variety of sources. The first lesson: despite all the current hype to the contrary, don’t innovate!
  2. Successful macro mutations do occur but are rarer than hens’ teeth so the second lesson is that if one must innovate, make (numerous if necessary) small changes.
  3. Most speciation is geographical – despite all the hype about the importance of becoming a world-wide competitor, the third lesson is that innovations should be geographically specific.
  4. However, there are advantages to ecological specialization. Specialists tend to be  more efficient in the segment of a niche that they specialize in than are generalists in that segment so the fourth lesson is to specialize. But in a however to the however, avoid extreme niche markets – because of sampling error, tastes there are likely to be random.
  5. Since most innovations fail, how should success be measured? Relatively of course. Finally I must admit that I have rarely taken these lessons to heart myself!

Written by Marion Blute

May 4, 2019 at 1:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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