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Demystifying Growth for Products!

Growing up as a kid, I would always look forward to my Birthday, not for the Cakes & Party Poppers but for a tiny appraisal on my pocket money. I would often pick up small tasks and chores around the house and which increased in value every year.

Gradually, I got better at the chores and could do it more efficiently. For instance managing to clean the house with the help of broom to finally rounding it up with a vacuum towards the later stages.

Little did I realize how similar it was in functioning when compared to the way a small service based company. Did you all identify the correlation that exists here, I am sure most of you got it absolutely right!

Being an ardent follower of company strategies and how products are conceptualized from inception to market, I think that there are a couple of varied strategies companies use to grow!

Moonshot : It typically means taking a shot at a big market with a realistic problem needed to be solved. Build a super 10x solution and might have a low ball probability of success which might take time. In hindsight if this works, this is the best way to get the ball rolling for success.

Sergey Brin is one prime example who used this concept to create the google platform along with Larry. It was a random hit or miss but now has become a trillion dollar moonshot story.

Growth Hacking : More of an Incremental Model where we have quicker delivery constantly improving by a single percentage point i.e. 1%. Here you can iterate and keep qualifying the product for the right market fit and eventually turn it into a winner. This is a typically a safer model and has more chance of success/pivots.

Just to put things into perspective let's talk about the 1% rule.

Small differences in an upwards or downwards trend, can lead to unequal distributions. The companies that have a high success rates always tend to do things right, consistently. They always have a slight edge over the other companies and reap higher rewards over time.

In an average setting you need to be just a tad better than your competition and if you can consistently maintain this edge and repeat it over and over again you will always end up winning. This is called the Winner-Take-All-Effects strategy.

You do not need to be significantly better than others to grow, you just need to be slightly better but consistent.

Just to give you an example, let's take two plants growing side by side. Each day they will compete for sunlight and if one plant grows just a little faster than the other for the first couple of days, then it can stretch taller and hence soak up more sunlight. The extra energy gained by this allows the plant to grow even more getting stronger by the day over the other plant.

From this position, this pattern continues till the first plant has a major share of sunlight compared to the other plant. This also opens a lot of other opportunities for the plant such as a better reach to spread seeds and reproduce which give it a better footprint in the future.

Overtime if this process is repeated this plant could dominate the entire space allocated for the two. Scientists refer to this effect as “accumulative advantage.” What begins as a small advantage gets bigger over time.

We often come across similar circumstances in our daily lives.The real difference between these options is almost negligible, but the winners do enjoy massively out sized rewards.

The advantage of being a little bit better is not a little bit more reward, but the entire reward. The winner gets one and the rest get zero.

You only win by 1 percent or 1 second or 1 dollar, but you capture 100 percent of the victory.

To grow at an individual level and even for the organizations, there can be N number of configurations and more so there is no single correct defined answer to it. Having said that in my perception to assure growth the following factors need to be in sync:

  • Single growth Strategy

  • Well-Aligned Roadmap

  • Prioritization Metrics

  • Scalable Platform

  • Quick & Iterative Execution of the Strategy

The key is how quickly you can come up with ideas for growth, experiment with them, learn from them and repeat this cycle.

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