Startups Are the New Canary in the Coal Mine for Big Brands and Marketers

Startups are canary in coal mines for big business
By Dave Knox.
In the late 1800s, John Scott Haldane dedicated himself to improving the safety of coal miners by studying the effect of gases on human physiology. One of his experiments led to the discovery that methane gas was lighter than air and miners could escape dangerous conditions by crawling on the floor. Another experiment allowed miners to use the flames of their safety lamps to determine risks in the mine.

Through his studies, Haldane was also the first scientist to realize that the mysterious deaths of miners who emerged with their faces flushed red was the result of carbon monoxide poisoning. Much like using the flame of the safety lamp, Haldane looked for a solution to help miners deal with this invisible enemy. He found it in the common canary, realizing that the unique anatomy of a bird—and the particularly fast metabolism of the canary—could be a carbon monoxide detector. With that insight, miners began the practice of carrying caged canaries while at work in the mines. If there was any methane or carbon monoxide in the mine, the canary would die before the levels of the gas reached those hazardous to humans.

Read more at ADWEEK.

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