Charles Darwin was not an atheist, and he started out studying medicine and theology before finally settling on natural history. Nearly everyone associates his name with “survival of the fittest”, but the phrase actually came from Herbert Spencer, who was inspired after reading Chuck’s bestseller On the Origin of Species. Although Darwin’s masterpiece elegantly explained the long-debated process of evolution, he wrote near the end of his life that “the mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble to us.”
When Darwin was fiddling with finches in the Galapagos Islands, he surely had no idea that the theories he was hatching would someday form the basis for a “reality” TV show or an uncoveted namesake award, let alone a business plan. “Purposeful Darwinism” has been in the news recently, and it is not exactly what Charles Darwin had in mind.
Startups are famously demanding and stressful, but the insane pace is usually given a pass in light of the looming rewards of pride, fame and founder’s stock. Throughout the ordeal, it is assumed that once the IPO is over and the dust settles, the culture will regress to the norm and “Work-Life Balance” will replace “If You’re Reading This, You’re Not Working Hard Enough!” on the break-room bulletin board.