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Exponential

At Ballpark Ventures, we believe that technology is growing exponentially, which means that massive changes are going to occur in the next decade. This will make the internet revolution look rather slow and boring in comparison.

Exponential is a hard concept for us to grasp, so we love the Ballpark story.

 

 


Imagine that you’re in a huge ballpark. A truly massive stadium. You’re in a seat right at the top, at the back.

 
A man walks onto the pitch and produces a pipette of water. He puts one drop of water on the centre spot and walks off. No one takes much notice.

 
The drop of water is magic though. It’s going to grow exponentially and double every minute – whereas technology tends to double in power every year or so. This means that in the first minute, there’s one drop of water, the second, two drops, the third, 4 drops and the fourth 8 drops. You get the picture.

 
The question is: how long do you have before the stadium is completely full and you drown?

 
Human thinking, tends to be linear and therefore wildly over-estimates the time, intuitively concluding that the answer is many hours or possibly days or weeks.


Actually, it’s just 49 minutes.
 

 


But the real surprise is that at 45 minutes, the Ballpark is still 93% empty. That’s right, with 4 minutes to go, you will look down, see a dangerous situation developing and probably still fail to do anything to save yourself.


This is why very accomplished, even great, business people so often get caught out by exponential growing technology. It’s why executives in industries such as music, publishing, retail and advertising (to name a few) constantly get it wrong – they’re aware of the danger to their businesses, but they think they have plenty of time tomorrow to react.


Exponential times call for exponential thinking. You’ll find that at Ballpark Ventures.

 

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