What does Antifragile mean?

This blog is based off of the idea of antifragility as defined by Nassim Taleb in his book Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder.  I highly recommend it to anyone who has not already done so.  It definitely changed the way I look a the world and my place in it.

If you’re looking for a quick definition, here it is:

  • Fragile things hate disorder, stress, and chaos.  They break when exposed to them.
  • Robust or  resilient things don’t care.
  • Antifragile things love disorder, stress, and chaos.  They thrive when exposed to them.

Antifragility can be thought of as the end point of a spectrum as shown below.  In other words, things can be thought of as having varying degrees of fragility (or antifragility).


Antifragile Spectum


Here’s another good graphic that I stole from Matt Barney’s LinkedIn page.  It shows three things with these properties: a teacup, an ax, and a dandelion. Although, for the dandelion, you really should think of an entire population of dandelions and not one in particular.