Bone or skin?

Jeff Cohen

“Tendons don’t like change,” said a savvy physiotherapist who specializes in climbing injuries. It was about abrupt load changes, for example, when an athlete is in too much of a hurry to return to “normal” mode after a month of rehabilitation.

In this sense, it’s amazing how wisely evolution has shaped our bodies. Skin is extremely stretchy, but a careless movement can damage it. The opposite is true of bones — it is impossible to bend, but fortunately also difficult to break. A sequential study of skin, muscles, tendons and bones shows a gradual reduction in elasticity, but robustness, i.e. resistance to compression and breakage, increases rapidly. The genius of body design is that there is no emphasis on any one “universal” or “innovative” material in the spirit of “either/or”. There is a skilful integration of all available materials simultaneously in the spirit of “and-and”.

Life is unpredictable, and the range of external influences is wide. For self-preservation, the organism needs maximum optionality, i.e. freedom of adaptive reactions to almost any novelty. Skin takes the first blow, plastically yielding to the load, like a willow under snow. Bone, on the other hand, firmly resists any cataclysm, like California’s Methuselah pine, 4,851 years old. Muscles, ligaments and tendons react both ways, according to the situation.

A successfully built business follows the evolutionary principle of “and-and,” that is, “Fur on the outside, steel on the inside.” There is no one idea, approach or technology that is always absolutely right. It depends on the specific market context. When the “body” of the company has harmoniously combined, but opposing functions, the business will inventively survive and grow dynamically against all odds.

Sincerely yours,

-Alexander

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Alexander Lyadov

Alexander Lyadov

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As a business therapist, I help tech founders quickly solve dilemmas at the intersection of business and personality, and boost company value as a result.