I have written previously about what it takes to create a product that will sell forever, but what is the formula for creating exponential growth in the first place?
My friend, serial entrepreneur Andrew Masanto*, and I have been discussing EXPONENTIALS all week and below are the five steps he thinks it takes.
It’s worth mentioning the world of the exponentials is almost like the “upside down” in Stranger Things…
While you may not enter another realm entirely, you and the universe will definitely be changed forever.
Freaky things begin to happen, some of which may be outside your control.
When you and your team are tapped into the five essentials below, you will have an electromagnetic field around yourself which literally attracts ideas to accomplish your wildest dreams from a place unknown at times even to your own mind… Or so you thought…
Enter at your own risk.
1/ A Single Point of Focus – You and the rest of the core team (who all may be doing different things) must be “all in”. This is not a “have to”, but a “get to”.
“All in” could mean being the source of the ideas leading to breakthrough, market adoption or simply getting coffee (literally) or supporting a team member (or multiple) who are currently tapped into the higher power of flow and on the verge of coming up with or executing an idea filled with viral power.
The role of a leader vs. a supporter can shift depending on who has the momentum – Innovative breakthroughs in both product and marketing are almost always essential to tap into the exponential.
There must be an innate burning desire to succeed which overshadows every other aspect of life, even at times to the detriment of our own well being.
This manifests from hustle to an over-the-top extreme amount of execution. Doing whatever it takes to push through and finding the third door to elevate the artist, product, or whatever you are marketing.
Although possible, the solutions leading to exponential breakout growth do not typically come from one meeting, but instead through an all encompassing lifestyle rotating around the center point of focus.
2/ The Acceptance of Risk – Great product offerings must be marketed in unique ways telling a story and drive underlying curiosity for what is being sold without being blatantly pushing it.
Since many of the marketing activation concepts which drive exponential growth can be shockingly original, and at times even borderline “risky”, there has to be an extreme aptitude for risk from the decision making parties in order to tap into exponential growth.
As companies, brands and artists grow, they tend to take less risks. But the key is taking more calculated risks, rather than less of them, in order to sustain exponential growth.
If a business has already benefited from the EXPONENTIALS, the values from the original strategy can evolve, but usually not be abandoned entirely to continue to create further growth.
Exponentials can be so strong their growth can sometimes last for a long time, even without other breakthroughs.
3/ Differentiation – Different sells… Even better than “better” or “great”… Amazingly.
Differentiation arouses curiosity, which piques interest and leads to hockey stick growth.
To some extent, differentiation must be built into the product and then further extrapolated via marketing.
Since timing is everything, it’s also imperative the differentiation is actually relevant – However, since it’s not always obvious what is or will be relevant, even if it appears it may be to the individuals behind the concept, creators must be optimistically delusional in their pursuit.
Since entrepreneurship is based on probability as opposed to absolution, relevance is only a perspective without certainty. The only choice is to use the best judgement available (your own) and go for it!
4/ No Pride in Authorship – The best products, and often times even the best art, undergoes multiple iterations and pivots before it is introduced and experiences virality with the public.
As a creator, there is a certain level of confidence needed to pursue a defined path. Since many of the best ideas come from other people in the collaboration process, it’s important to also not be too attached to ideas since we all have fog on our mirror.
Instead, there is the opportunity to listen intently, accept feedback, and know when to jump ship on your own ideas in order to accommodate somebody else’s ideas and implement them into your vision.
5/ Team – No man is an island.
Andrew thinks if you have a team who understand the above and are fulfilling complimentary roles with as little ego as possible (e.g. one person may be product or music, another marketing, another deal making, etc.), the chances of creating an exponential are much greater.
The team trusts each other, works together, and know what each of them are best at.
Michael Jackson was a master at only working with the best in the world in each and every area of his career.
Over time, the composition and roles may get blurred and that is fine as it adds flavor, but initially, having a world class team executing at what they know they are good at is key.
It’s worth mentioning, teams DO NOT need all five of these essentials to operate effectively or grow… Only if they are looking to achieve EXPONENTIAL growth.
These five factors have all been present in each of Andrew and my successes, as well as the many case studies of our favorite entrepreneurs and companies.
Good luck and see you in the upside down! 😉
*For reference, Andrew developed and led the initial marketing for Hashgraph which led the company to a $6B valuation. He was also initial CMO and part of the Founding Team for the Peter Theil and Coinbase backed Reserve project and is a Co Founder of Good Money (one of the most widely anticipated projects launching next year). Prior to this, he Co-Founded AltitudeAds.com, Al