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From the Little Stream Software blog

This next week should bring our first really freezing weather.

With the garden full of winter vegetables, I'm expecting a portion of them to die off from the cold.

That's exactly what I want.

Most of those plants are alive for their seed next spring. The ones that survive the freeze are more likely to have genes that resist the cold. It could be from their growth rates in fall, production of anti-freezing compounds, or any number of other traits they pass onto their children.

Whatever the cause, my goal is to have plants that can resist the cold we get here (along with resistance to heat, pests, etc). By saving the seed from the plants that survive I know that the next generation will be stronger against cold. Do this over the next few years and the survivors might have survived freezes, droughts, high winds, pest infections, etc.

This is called genetic selection and something humans have done for 1,000s of years with agriculture:

Grow many plants. Save the seeds that we Like. Plant those seeds. Repeat.

What Like means can be anything we want. Can be taste, color, size, number of seeds, etc.

That's how one plant species (brassica oleracea) has been able to produce so many different vegetables.

Like loose leaves? Kale or collard greens

Like a head of leaves? Cabbage

Like firm head of edible flowers? Cauliflower

Like stick of food? Broccolini

Like bite-sized heads? Brussels sprouts

We're still selecting for different things we like (flowering kale, Kalettes, etc). It only ends when we decide to stop improving.

The important part is defining what we Like and sticking to selecting for that.

This selection process can be applied to your Shopify store in a lot of areas:

  • Try a bunch of marketing channels and select the ones that create the most profit.
  • Hire a bunch of influencers and select the ones that generated the most order flow.
  • Design a bunch of color variants and select the ones that produced above-average order sizes.
  • Dropship a variety of products and select the best selling ones to redesign in-house.
  • Sending a dozen holiday marketing campaigns and selecting the top three revenue producers for next year.

That's why I'm a fan of trying a whole bunch of things to start and then focus on which ones work. It can be a lot of work at the beginning, but that work translates into rapid learning and discover of what works best.

Whether you're selecting for flavor or profit, selection is a powerful system when applied.

Eric Davis

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