What Is The Difference Between Successful Ventures And Failed Ones?
The dominant difference between successful ventures and failed ones, generally, is not the astuteness of their original strategy. Guessing the right strategy at the outset isn’t nearly as important to success as conserving enough resources (or having the relationships with trusting backers or investors) so that new business initiatives get a second or third stab at getting it right. Those that run out of resources or credibility before they can iterate toward a viable strategy are the ones that fail.
via The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail
Still curious? Why do big populations survive while small ones go extinct?