The effects of exponential growth

Most of us already know that success isn’t something we can achieve overnight. As we mentioned before in one of our articles, you should always adopt a long-term mindset. Seeing the bigger picture and prioritizing long term growth is much more beneficial than the short-term rewards. Sometimes our long-term growth could be exponential, and that’s something we should never underestimate. But what does that mean? And is it really worth it?

Reaching the moon with a piece of paper

Did you know that theoretically, you can get to the moon only by folding a piece of paper enough times? And by enough times I don’t mean 100 or 1000 times. All it takes is 45 folds. You don’t believe me? Let’s do the math!

Imagine you took a big paper from a newspaper with a thickness of 0.001 cm. Fold it once, and the thickness becomes 0.002 cm. Every time you fold it the thickness doubles, going to 0.004 cm then 0.008 cm etc. After only 25 folds, your paper’s thickness will become 0.001 * 22533,554 cm. This is almost as tall as the empire state building! You can now start to see how fast this exponential growth is. Once we reach 45 folds, the thickness becomes around 351,843 Km which is almost enough to get you to the moon.

If you want a more visual illustration of this example, you can watch this Ted-Ed video.

Real-life examples of exponential growth

Now that we’ve seen the potential of exponential growth, let’s see where it could apply in our everyday life. When someone starts a YouTube channel, the audience at first is very small, and grows very slowly. Youtubers might get only a few views per day and maybe one or two new subscribers every week. However, with every new subscriber or viewer, the chances of reaching more people increases. If someone likes a video, they’ll show it to their friends, then those friends will show it to others and so on. The bigger the number of people who share the videos, the faster they spread and the more YouTube’s algorithm is likely to suggest them. That’s why most of the time once a YouTube channel reaches a certain number of subscribers, they experience a higher rate of growth that they haven’t seen before.

The same concept applies to blogs. At first the number of people reading a new blog is tiny. Then day after day, if people like the content, they might start spreading it. That’s part of how the blog’s audience grows. And with more audience, there are more people who might share the articles and there’s more potential for growth.

Another area where we can see the effects of exponential growth is financial investments. For example, if you invest $1000 in something that is guaranteed to earn you an extra 10% each year, by the end of the first year you’ll have $1100. The second year, the amount you earn becomes $110. After a couple of years, you’ll be earning $1000 per year instead of $100. As time passes, your earnings start to grow exponentially and rapidly.

The examples of exponential growth are endless, and the effects can be huge. If you’re working with something that has the potential of growing exponentially, then you should always focus on the long term payback. Don’t be turned down by the small audience you’re reaching or the small amount of money you’re making. Eventually, you’ll grow at a very rapid rate and all the efforts you made will be worth it.