Scarcity drives Evolution

Human Brain, Innovation, Leverage

A lot of us have heard about the phrase Necessity is the Mother of Invention. The human brain works to finds creative ways to meet the necessities. That’s why the more brain power that exists in a country, the more creative the ideas that can be brought out to meet the necessities of the people. The US was among the first countries which built its immigration policies after the World Wars to ensure that they were able to attract the best brain power from other countries to create more innovation. That is one of the reasons that its still way ahead in creating more innovations.

Today I was reading a book by Steven Kotler – The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer. I have read multiple books that Steven has jointly written with Dr. Peter Diamandis like Abundance and Bold and I like his writing because he does a lot of research on the topics that he writes about. Some may find this kind of detailing boring.

Right in the first few pages of the book I read this statement. And its been going round in my brain. As per him its the scarcity of resources that has made human beings always innovate and evolve. He’s gone ahead talk about the biology of this and you can read the book to learn more.

However the reason that this statement has been moving around my head is that when we learnt the various theories of evolution they were primarily related to nature causing mutations, survival of the fittest etc.

What’s intriguing to me is why are scarcity of resources a reason for the evolution of human beings, while it’s not meant major evolution in the other pieces of nature as much. Lions and elephants I don’t think have changed too much in the last 5000 years or more.

In my blogs I keep writing about how human ingenuity will always find a solution to problems and surviving, what is giving the humans this capability. Is it just our brain power which has helped us survive much more larger animals in the jungles. Is it the fact the 5 figures in each of our hands can be moved and folded causing this. While no other animal stores resources for the future how did the human being get onto this journey of storing resources.

These are some very interesting queries about when the human race broke away from the animal kingdom. In the animal kingdom even now no animal accumulates resources. I will be on the hunt to find out a little more about this and will keep you all posted.

But this statement also has everyday uses in our lives. When a project has limited resources and a deadline is nearing the teams find ways to optimise. In marketing when we have a shortage of resources like most startups and small companies do, we find low cost methods to help. We identify leverage points.

As a matter of fact my last 2-3 posts on Riding the elephant were all about this.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!