Nicolas Nassim Taleb – he of the Black Swan and Fooled by Randomness suggests in his latest book Antifragile that America’s greatest asset is its ability to take risks. This is a powerful concept and one worth thinking about very carefully. It is also one which is applicable well beyond the United States.
It is risk taking which allows and facilitates the trial and error that leads to innovation. It is risk taking which provides the capital to develop innovation. It is risk taking which emboldens people to try something new – a journey of discover, a new way of pursuing an old challenge, an alternative way of accomplishing a familiar task.
With innovation comes wealth – in myriad tangible and intangible forms.
With innovation comes increased choice – greater freedom to follow what appeals.
Consequently decisions, attitudes, policies, regulations and fears which make people more risk averse tend to make them less innovative. Fewer risks less innovation.
To live in a less risky universe girt with high vis protection from ever greater fears of an increasing number of apparent risks is to live in a less innovative universe.
So what sort of universe are you living in?