Understand what Exponential Technologies are and how to apply them in your company – WAU

Exponential technologies are solutions capable of impacting entire populations, with products or services that are more effective than current alternatives and at reduced access costs. With a lean team, innovation and resources from the digital economy, it is possible to solve the problems of crowds in the coming years.

In the early days of digital transformation, when the computer industry started to gain expressiveness in the mid-1960s, the number of transistors (an important electronic component) that could fit inside a processor did not exceed a few thousand.

Today, that figure amounts to tens of billions.

In about 60 years, we went from 2,000 to 20 billion transistors inside a chip!

To reach this level, the number of transistors in a processor had to double every two years, as the engineer Gordon Moore had estimated already around the 1970s. Moore’s prediction was so consistent over the years that it came to be known as Moore’s Law.

And it is with the multiplier power that is at the heart of Moore’s Law that we begin to realize the impact of exponential technologies. Stay with us to understand what they are and how to use them.

Good reading!

What is exponential growth?

Before we understand what exponential technologies represent, we need to make it clear what a exponential growth.

Suppose an X application has the following growth in the first few months:

  • month 1: 1,000 users;
  • month 2: 2,000 users;
  • month 3: 3,000 users;
  • month 4: 4,000 users;
  • month 5: 5,000 users.

From the first to the second month, he saw a 100% increase in his base. From the second to the third, the increase was already 50%. From the third to the fourth it was 33% and, from the fourth to the fifth, only 25%.

Now imagine another Y app. In this case, the evolution of the user base is more expressive:

  • month 1: 1,000 users;
  • month 2: 2,000 users;
  • month 3: 4,000 users;
  • month 4: 8,000 users;
  • month 5: 16,000 users.

Note that the Y app has managed to double the number of users each month. It was a 100% monthly growth, which we can consider an exponential growth.

Remembering that exponential growth could also happen at a more intense pace, tripling, quadrupling, quintupling or counting on any other factor of multiplication of numbers for each cycle.

How to identify exponential technologies?

Exponential technologies are those with a accelerated development It is like potential to influence billions of lives, either create an industry totally new – as was the case with computers with information technology – or drastically affecting one that already exists.

One of the exponents in the study of this subject is Peter Diamandis, one of the founders and director of Singularity University, a university that trains leaders able to create initiatives to solve problems with global impact.

In the book BOLD: Exponential Opportunities, co-authored with Steven Kotler, Diamandis defines a way to explain how exponential technologies work.

It does this with a structure called 6 Ds: digitization, disappointment, disruption, demonetization, dematerialization and democratization. Let’s see what each of them means next.


When a technology becomes digital, all its usefulness translates into information. Thus, it will be subject to numerous possibilities, such as the range and speed of the internet and the very growth expressed by Moore’s Law.


THE disappointment it concerns the initial phase, in which, although the technology already has exponential characteristics, it is still not possible to see if it is really advancing.


THE disruption it occurs when the numbers of that technology – triggered by exponential growth – start to attract attention.

Factors such as innovation, lower cost and effectiveness help to affect the current model, as in the following cases:

  • streaming music vs. buying tracks or albums;
  • movies and series by streaming vs. pay TV;
  • messages per application x SMS; among others.

As a consequence, we can have drastic changes in a market and the creation of an entirely new one.

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Peter Diamandis claims that the first 3 Ds changed our world, but that the last 3 Ds are the most powerful.

THE demonetization happens when you can access a technology without having to pay for it. See the example of Google applications. The vast majority of them are free if you don’t need advanced features. Still, Google is one of the most profitable companies in the world.

We can also mention Wikipedia, which demonetized the encyclopedia, digital cameras, which demonetized films for photos, Skype, which demonetized long distance calls, and many others.


THE dematerialization occurs when the digitization and miniaturization of sensors eliminates the need for devices dedicated to just one function.

O smartphone represents that very well. With it, we have a GPS, digital camera, clock, flashlight, compass, wallet, phone and many other utilities in a device that fits in your pocket.


THE democratization of a technology occurs when people from the most diverse social conditions have access to its benefits. Let’s go back to the smartphone example.

As much as the cost of such a gadget is high for part of the population, we have seen the launch of increasingly cheaper models, which deliver many of the features of those that still have a high price.

How can exponential technologies help companies?

Now that we understand the power of exponential technologies, let’s see how some of the most notable are revolutionizing lives and businesses around the world.

Artificial intelligence

When we hear about artificial intelligence, the view that this only belongs to science fiction is still very strong.

It turns out that it already has several applications, such as:

  • personalized recommendation of e-commerce products;
  • personalized recommendation of videos, music, films and series on streaming platforms;
  • fraud analysis for credit card companies and fintechs;
  • search engine or social network algorithms;
  • Digital Marketing tools for audience segmentation.

Data Science

Data science, or data science, uses methods to analyze a massive amount of data and gain valuable insights from it.

It is extremely useful for companies to better understand Consumption habits, evaluate the public’s reaction to new products or services and define parameters that assist in the decision making.

In addition, combining data science with machine learning techniques, it is possible to perform predictive analysis. This allows anticipate trends and identify standards hard to find.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things consists of the countless possibilities that the connection of various devices and sensors to the internet and to each other can bring.

Wristwatches, refrigerators, voice assistants, home automation systems, geolocation tags. Imagine the countless business opportunities that these and many other objects can create in areas such as health, safety and transportation.

Faced with so many perspectives, it is up to the companies follow the progress exponential technologies, study the solutions that have emerged around them and define how they can be beneficial to bring better results to the organization.

We need to understand well enough how they work before we adopt them. Since implementing any of these is by no means a guarantee of success, we must also know the business well enough to choose which ones indicators will determine whether the new technology is making a difference in business or not.

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