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Jan 15, 2012

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Business Co-Founding Lessons from 3 Cheetahs

The speed of the cheetah is one of its advantages when hunting, but also its weakness. Learn how these three brothers joined forces to increase their chances of success.
cheetah hunting business
  The cheetah is the fastest mammal on earth, and can accelerate from 0 to over 100 km/h in three seconds. This animal usually hunts alone and despite his incredible speed is not as strong. However, these three brothers teach us how synergies can positively impact the odds of success, in more ambitious and risky goals.

Cheetah hunting
  Cheetahs' hunting method consists on reaching a distance about 10-30 meters from their prey, and then chase and capture it under one minute. When sprinting, at speeds between 112 and 120 km/h (a typical chase), the cheetah's respiratory rate surges from 60 to 150 breaths per minute increasing its body temperature so high that it would be deadly to continue. The average hunting success rate of the cheetah is around 50%, which is quite similar to the 30-40 percent failure rate for start-ups ( If failure means liquidating all assets and investors losing their money) published by the Harvard Business School. The main reason why this animal waiver or failure to capture its prey, is because it has burned out all its energies without success. Indeed, in many cases despite having caught his prey, the cheetah will lose its kill to other predators because it has no energy to fight for it.

  As it happens to cheetahs, many leaders suffer the total consumption of their energy given the large workloads of starting a business alone. Likewise, they tend to avoid taking more risks, not to pursue new opportunities or resign at critical moments, since they got no energy, or moral, emotional or financial support. Thus, these great opportunities end up taken by the competitors. One of the main reasons why teams succeed is their ability to generate synergies. Although as individuals we have many weaknesses as a team joining forces, we have the possibility to overcome constraints that prevented us from meeting our goals.

  From the point of view of an ostrich, a cheetah does not represent any risk. A cheetah alone has no chance against a kick from its powerful legs. While a cheetah can be tempted to attack, the risk of an injury stops him, because cheetahs rely on their speed to obtain their meals, any injury that slows them down could essentially be life threatening. Therefore, ostriches are a market in which a single one of these felines could not access.

   Finally, I leave you to enjoy this video, which shows that union is strength, and how teamwork eliminates limitations and open brand new opportunities: