Big Crocs vs Little Crocs

It’s not survival of the fittest. It’s survival of the quickest.

A full-grown saltwater crocodile is a terrifying thing. They can be more than 20 feet long and weigh more than 2,000 pounds. Their jaws bite down with a force of 3,700 pounds per square inch.  And since they can swim at about 15 mile per hour, there’s no way to outswim them.  It’s not surprising that at least half of all crocodile attacks on humans are fatal.

But you know what’s even more dangerous than a full-grown saltwater crocodile? An adolescent one!

True, an adolescent croc may not be as strong, and its bite may be somewhat weaker – but even at about 2500 PSI, it’s double the bite strength of a lion, a tiger, or a hyena, and it’s more than enough to kill you quickly.

Why are adolescents more dangerous? Well, it has nothing to do with that old story about rattlesnakes, which says that young rattlesnakes have the worst bites because they can’t control the amount of venom they inject. That’s a myth and a dangerous one at that. An adult rattlesnake produces, stores, and injects 20x more venom than a baby.

No, the simpler reason why an adolescent croc is so much more dangerous is because it’s faster. They can accelerate more quickly and change direction more suddenly. At some point, the additional size and weight of an adult crocodile fails to deliver additional killing power but does have the effect of slowing him down.

And that’s exactly the reason why startups are so dangerous. You don’t see them coming.

If you are a mature business and suspect your size and scale will protect you? Think again.

If you are an early-stage company going up against an entrenched competitor? Make sure you take advantage of the flexibility that your small scale affords you.

Because whether it’s an African river delta or a competitive startup category, it’s not survival of the fittest.  It’s survival of the quickest.

Many ideas in this post were first discussed in the Neverland entrepreneurial community. Join us there!

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