Technology Strategy

How To Build Antifragile Companies

Why has the coronavirus pandemic made some companies stronger and blown others to bits?

Ravi Mehta
The Startup
Published in
10 min readMay 21, 2020

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This is a pivotal time for executives and entrepreneurs. As we start to relax social distancing, each and every company will face a reckoning — quickly, we’ll be able to separate the resilient from the walking dead.

“Antifragile” is the buzzword of our day. But, what does it mean to be antifragile? What makes a company antifragile?

Certainly, some companies have benefited from this moment. Zoom is the first to come to mind. But was Zoom merely fortunate, or are they antifragile?

Video conferencing is a crowded and commoditized space. Yet, it is Zoom that seized the moment by scaling from 10M to 200M daily users in a few weeks. Why has Zoom benefited disproportionately relative to Google, Facebook, and other companies that should have done better?

Trader Joe’s is another example. The enigmatic grocer has refused to add online delivery and pickup in the face of coronavirus. Despite bucking the coronavirus playbook, they’ve come out ahead with increased profits — some of which they are passing on to workers.

Meanwhile, Uber and Lyft have failed to adapt. Together, they own the most sophisticated transportation and logistics capability that has ever existed — one perfectly designed to meet the rapid, point-to-point delivery…

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Ravi Mehta
The Startup

Building something new. Previously Chief Product Officer @ Tinder, Product @ Facebook, TripAdvisor, Xbox.