Can a single butterfly cause a hurricane? Meteorologists, physicists, sociologists, engineers, economists, biologists and philosophers theorize it’s possible.

The Chaos Theory postulates that a small change at one place in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere. A butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world might ultimately cause a hurricane in another part of the world.

"Chaos Theory" by Boon Chin Ng, CC BY 4.0.

“Chaos Theory” by Boon Chin Ng, CC BY 4.0.

Chaos is a word that’s gotten a bad rep over time. Most people interpret it to mean complete disorder and confusion. However, in the world of physics, it means nothing more than unpredictable behavior that’s caused by small changes. So we’re okay with chaos.

We’re not that okay with disruption, though. It’s a word that has become unfortunately intertwined with startups and shouldn’t be. As Peter Thiel says in his book, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future, “disruptors are people who look for trouble and find it.”  We’ve got too much work to do to go looking for trouble because as we’re creating something that’s never existed before.

According to Thiel’s theory, aligning yourself with disruption distorts self-understanding. If you’re focused on being disruptive, you have defined yourself by the realities and constraints of the incumbent you aspire to displace. If you’re creating something that’s never existed before, how can you compare it to whom you believe is your competition? “Indeed,” says Peter Thiel, “if your company can be summed up by its opposition to already existing firms, it can’t be completely new….”

We’ll make a roar. We’ll apply the physics of chaos. The proper gentle application. We believe that the world is ready for the butterfly kiss of Changelane.

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