Which curve are you on?
BY: ANDY TROTT
Humans are conditioned to think linearly and incrementally, expecting that tomorrow will be much the same as today and much the same as yesterday. We find it difficult to perceive change that is anything other than incremental. Dynamic or explosive change makes us feel uncomfortable and insecure, so we naturally seek comfort in what we know and what makes us feel safe.
But history shows us that humanity is actually evolving exponentially and that our world is now evolving much faster than at any time in human history. And because it is exponential, it is speeding up constantly.
So why does this feel like a new phenomena?
Well, the interesting thing about an exponential curve, is that it looks pretty linear until it reaches the knee of the curve. Once it gets past the knee, it accelerates away from the linear line very rapidly.
Human evolution is driven by technology evolution and the knee of the curve started approximately twenty years ago as Moore's Law and the Law Of Accelerating Returns really took hold on technology evolution.
Since then, there has been an increasing perception gap between what we expect is going to happen and what is actually happening. This is where disruption comes in.
Linear vs Exponential
Businesses who embrace exponential thinking are perfectly positioned to disrupt those businesses who are still thinking linearly or incrementally.
And the gap will only get bigger as we soar up the exponential curve, giving more and more opportunity for disruption.
Businesses and business leaders cannot afford to ignore this, if they do, it is only a matter of time before they will be disrupted. This can result in a devastating conclusion.
And because of this accelerating disruption, more and more businesses are being disrupted causing an increasing number of businesses to fail. In the best case a business can fight back but with inevitable detriment to it's profitability. In the worst case, a business can go bankrupt and in fact since 1958, the average life of businesses has actually fallen from 60 years to less than 20.
So which curve is your business on? Linear or exponential?