When discussing the current global development, one term that keeps popping up is the term exponential growth. Regardless of whether discussing new technologies, innovative business models, revenue flow, or the global pandemic, exponential growth is leading the discussions.
Yet what exactly is meant by the term? Maybe you have heard about it in mathematics, but how does it translate to other fields?
What is Exponential Growth
Exponential growth is basically the act of a quantity doubling itself during a certain amount of time.
For example, if you run one kilometer on DAY 1, two kilometers on DAY 2, four kilometers on DAY 3, and 8 kilometers on DAY 4, the length of your jog is experiencing exponential growth.
Or if it takes you 60 minutes to run 5 kilometers on DAY 1, 30 minutes to run 5 kilometers on DAY 2, 15 minutes on DAY 3, and only 7,5 minutes on DAY 4 the speed of your jog is growing exponentially.
The time span could also be a year, a month, a week, whatever. You could be reading 10 books in 2020, 20 books in 2021 and 40 books in 2022. One quantity simply has to either double or half its size on a regular basis.
What is Exponential Technology
In the field of technology, exponential growth usually refers to the increase of the power or speed of a machine or the reduction of the costs or size of it. It’s all about efficiency: Getting more out of less.
Several technologies are currently experiencing a process of exponential growth. The computational power of computers is increasing at a rapid pace. Remember the computers of your childhood? It’s very likely that the phone in your pocket is faster, stronger, cheaper, and smaller than the first computer in your family’s household.
The same goes for computation in general, AR & VR, 3D-printing, AI, biotechnology, robotics. All of these technologies are experiencing huge developments. Think about how unstable VR was only a couple of years ago and how immersive and incredible it has become now. Or how silly the first AI-chatbots were in comparison to the ones today. If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you can have a chat with ELIZA – one of the first developed chatbots. Compare that to SIRI or ALEXA. The experience is totally different, not only because they understand you better, but also because they are able to act according to your voice. They can turn on music, search for things on google, create calendar entries, and even send text messages.
What is an Exponential Organization
In business, performance is key. In the past couple of years, the business world has seen the birth of a new type of company: the Exponential Organization that has revolutionized how a company can accelerate its growth by using technology.
The greatest companies of today have hijacked a market by selling products and services they don’t even own. They don’t need to buy anything or have a warehouse of stuff. They simply provide a place for people in need to connect with people in abundance.
Look at AirBnB or Uber. They provide accommodation and transportation respectively without owning any rooms or any cars themselves. That’s an incredible way to reduce costs and expand fast. All you need is an online platform.
In his recent article, Peter H. Diamandis, founder, and chairman of the X Prize Foundation & cofounder of Singularity University says:
The potential for entrepreneurs to disrupt industries has never been greater. And the secret to positively impacting the lives of millions of people is understanding and internalizing the growth of exponential technologies.”– Peter H. Diamandis
According to Peter, this growth cycle takes place in the form of the Six Ds of Exponentials: digitization, deception, disruption, demonetization, dematerialization, and democratization.
Are you ready for exponential change?
When starting a business, we strongly recommend keeping exponential growth in mind. To have proper success and survive in our fast-paced world, you will need to scale your growth fast. So perhaps think about:
- Business Model Innovation (the strategy being used by companies such as Airbnb and Uber)
- Bootstrapping wherever possible
- Identifying your Massive Transformative Purpose
- making use of some of those exponential technologies mentioned above.
Exponential thinking is the future. So if you want to stay relevant, you need to think big, to think outside the box, to think exponentially. Only that will get you to the moon and beyond.