Adaptation is normally viewed as the enemy of the antibiotic discovery and development process because adaptation among pathogens to antibiotic exposure leads to resistance. We present a method here that, in contrast, exploits the power of adaptation among antibiotic producers to accelerate the discovery of antibiotics. A competition-based adaptive laboratory evolution scheme is presented whereby an antibiotic-producing microorganism is competed against a target pathogen and serially passed over time until the producer evolves the ability to synthesize a chemical entity that inhibits growth of the pathogen. When multiple Streptomyces clavuligerus replicates were adaptively evolved against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus N315 in this manner, a strain emerged that acquired the ability to constitutively produce holomycin. In contrast, no holomycin could be detected from the unevolved wild-type strain. Moreover, genome re-sequencing revealed that the evolved strain had lost pSCL4, a large 1.8 Mbp plasmid, and acquired several single nucleotide polymorphisms in genes that have been shown to affect secondary metabolite biosynthesis. These results demonstrate that competition-based adaptive laboratory evolution can constitute a platform to create mutants that overproduce known antibiotics and possibly to discover new compounds as well.