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Winning Long-Term Depends on How Adaptable You Are

Richard Lenski, professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Michigan State, has a new paper in the Mar 18 issue of Science. In it, he describes recent findings with his ongoing 20-year work in observing the evolution of e-coli bacteria.

The essence of his recent discovery is that those e-coli whose genetics makes them more adaptable, are more likely to conquer the petri dish in the long-term. In addition, he found that e-coli which have a genetic advantage for current conditions, can lose in the long run, because they're in a genetic dead end.

How could this relate to us humans? Here are some possibilities:

  • When you develop a trading system, focus on robustness at least as much as short-term accuracy.
  • Companies should focus less on quarterly profits, than on trying out new ideas and being responsive to employee creativity.
  • Companies should hire people based on skills that matter, and not on currently needed skills that can be easily learned.
  • Individuals should make a continual effort to improve their education in areas that matter, and avoid wasting time on fads that come and go.

© 2010-2012 Stefan Hollos and Richard Hollos

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