Linear vs Exponential growth

Most people will immediately think exponential growth is what all companies should be looking for, but in order to achieve real exponential growth companies need to achieve consistent, long term linear growth first, then the compilation of both will look exponential after some time (yellow line).

The difference between exponential or linear growth in a business is actually about how much we zoom in or out from the graph πŸ˜‰

this zoomed in snapshot looks very exponential.

The key for linear growth can be: consistency & long term plans aligned with the company’s vision, product development (that actually serves its customers’ needs) & great customer care.

The key for Exponential growth can be: initiatives that fuel growth*, such as special “offers & promotions” (note that companies can not play the game of always having promotions, at some point that becomes the normal offer), PR opportunities, partnerships, product features, etc… initiatives that will drive enough attention and conversion at a specific moment, even when they might not drive consistent stable growth throughout time, it will enrich the higher part of our conversion funnel (awareness & interest ) enough to build our brand as we grow in the market.
*It is important to understand when companies should invest on these initiatives, it depends on how well prepared the company is to handle the growth (keeping a good quality) and in which adoption stage the company’s product is at.

Companies in a healthy growth stage needs to fuel both “types of growth”. Both growth types need each other to allow the company to thrive in a healthy way that benefits the company, the teams, the owners, the market and the clients.

If you only focus on “exponential growth” efforts you loose long term focus and sustainability throughout time.

If you only focus on linear growth you take the risk of growing too slow for your own sustainability and maybe having other companies outcompeting you.

So yes, both are important. Growing companies just need to know when to prioritize what according to their specific growth and development stage.


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