In the market, innovation is much like evolution in biology. The birth of new and stronger generations is one side of the coin while the other is destruction of the ones who came before.
At the gym, we challenge ourselves and apply stress to our bodies so that older, weaker cells die to be replaced by newer, stronger ones. This process is often downplayed in the business world because of how uncomfortable it makes so many people feel. I can only guess that this is because it alludes to our own personal shortcomings and expendability. That which fails to strengthen and grow is ultimately eliminated to make way for others and when it comes to employment, we're seeing this in most industries across the board. From the robots of factory assembly lines, to ATMs, to the fleets of autonomous cargo trucks that lurk just around the corner, human laborers are being innovated into obsolescence. Whether you see this as a good thing or bad depends only upon which side of evolution you've chosen to be.
As innovators, we have to be at peace with our mortality and cling not to that which must rightfully perish. Just as much as we're the midwives of a brighter tomorrow, we're also the agents of destruction and will forever be seen as the enemy of those we deign to displace. It's at the times of protest and outcry that we widen our gaze and bear in mind our purpose. We challenge the status quo and chip away at its decay not for the sake of misery or ruin but for the betterment of ourselves and the generations to come. We don't mourn the loss of the dead cells that are displaced by stronger ones when we lift weights any more than vinedressers mourn the branches they prune from their vines. For a garden to thrive, weeds have to be pulled and the aging plants that no longer produce have to be uprooted and returned to the soil to nurture the next crop to come. Seeds from the best plants are sown while the rest are consumed and so it is that nature stays on course and life continues to improve. Just as genetic mediocrity is massacred on the killing fields of biological evolution, flawed ideas and inefficiencies are slain in markets, companies, and laboratories. I would go so far as to suggest that this is one of the primary reasons that so many are not cut out for entrepreneurship. It requires a willingness to subject one's self and ideas to the merciless market forces that have little patience for nonsense and weakness. Granted, the regulatory mechanisms of government can insulate some from these forces for a time but in the long run, there's no escaping the laws of economics.
Just as your truest friends are the ones that challenge you for your own good, so too are innovators the truest friends of humanity. It's not always pretty but sometimes, one just needs to step back a bit to appreciate the bigger picture in all it's flaming glory. While some prefer the stability of stagnation and the predictability of an enforced order, those people tend not to become entrepreneurs. I, for one, happily count myself among the connoisseurs of creative chaos who embrace our evolution and look forward to the coming changes with a giddy enthusiasm for the wonders we have yet to behold. Neither disposition can be said to be objectively right or wrong as long as they don't employ literal physical violence but I can say this much: One of them is infinitely more interesting.
-Gabriel Scheare, FortGalt.com