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Antifragility: What is it and how does it relate to family businesses?

Antifragility: What is it and how does it relate to family businesses?

Beyond the world of stock markets, there is the huge economic subsystem of family businesses in which the following question arises: Is it possible that family businesses not only survive crises, but are actually strengthened by them?

The concept of antifragility

In his book Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, 1 Nassim Nicholas Taleb establishes the concept of “antifragility.” He distinguishes among fragile, robust, and antifragile. The fragile is destroyed by great stress, and thus disappears. The robust withstands stress and may be weakened but not destroyed by it. The antifragile, on the other hand, is strengthened by stress.

According to Taleb, the prerequisite for antifragility is complexity. The antifragile benefits from shocks, random events and crises and becomes even better through them. Conversely, anything that cannot withstand these great stresses disappears because it is fragile.

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