Startups need (not) to learn from chimpanzees
There are two major differences between us humans and chimpanzees, which are giving us a huge advantage over them. Startups and business people can learn a lot from this observation.
Chimpanzees are highly intelligent: they invent tools, they can learn words, they can communicate well, they can play, they can solve problems, they can invent. In some cognitive tests, chimps can even out-beat humans! Still, the human race is more successful than chimps, and this is because of two things that we are better than them:
1) Collaboration: chimpanzees don’t like to collaborate. Humans (not all) – do like to collaborate
2) Learning from previous generations: chimpanzees ability to learn from the experience of previous generation is very limited
Those two aspects are critical in business success too, and startups. I wrote before that I tend to collaborate with others, and I even tend to share information with competitors. I explained why it is working better for everyone.
Learning from previous generations – from people which already experimented and have an insight about what you plan to do, is also critical: chimps tend to reinvent the wheel generation after generation, humans tend to rely on previous generations’ inventions, and invent new things upon them. This is obviously also critical in startups success: if you plan to “do it my way” and not learn from others’ experience – you are doomed to fail. It means that you need to listen, especially to people in their experience, and ask the right questions in order to develop and improve based on previous experiences.
Don’t be a chimp! Collaborate, and learn from others.