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Hello, everyone, welcome to the Five Minutes Podcast! Today, I like to talk about exponential growth, and why I want to talk about this? Because this is such a counterintuitive concept because we always struggle when we see behaviours that are not easily proportional to what we think. For example, if I multiply my effort by two, I should expect that the result will be approximately twice. And this is natural because this is how our brain usually works. So many times when we face exponential problems, we have a hard time understanding how small things can become big, big problems or big, big opportunities. And let me do just a very simple exercise with you. So imagine that I offer you $100 today and I offer you a second option one dollar today. But I offered to put this dollar in an investment in a special account that doubles your money every single day during the next 10 days. Is it better for you to take $100 now or to put these one dollar in the bank and wait 10 days to get maybe more money? If we use our intuition, we may see, Oh God, 100 is so much bigger than one dollar that is impossible. That this one day is such a tiny starting investment would become something relevant for me to opt for this investment. But this is not true. At the end of day 10, you have five hundred and twelve dollars, five times more than a hundred dollars because, at the beginning, one dollar after one day becomes two dollars.
After two days, it will become, what, four dollars, then eight dollars, then sixteen, then thirty-two, then sixty-four, then a hundred and twenty-eight, two hundred and fifty-six, five hundred twelve. This in ten days, and if I offer you a second option of ten thousand dollars today or one dollar in this account for thirty days for one month now, I assume that you know the answer that is better to invest. It's not only better, it's incredibly better because if you put one dollar in the bank that doubles your money every day for 30 days, at the end of 30 days, you will have five hundred and thirty-six million dollars. It's so hard to understand this because every single day and it will be easier for you to go backwards because, for example, if on day 30, you have five hundred million one day before you have two hundred and fifty, one day before one hundred and twenty-five, this is exponential growth and there is a fantastic book that Ed Catmull suggested during the Drucker Forum. One of the courses he delivered at the Drucker Forum last year was called Exponential Age from Azemm Azhar.
And it's fantastic and explaining why we struggle so much when we see the transformation when we talk that a video became viral and for example, you put a video and then in 30 days, you had nothing.
And then in two days, you have a million views. How this happens, this happens exactly because of exponential growth. One person tells to one person, these two people tell to one or two, then order four, then order. And then it grows up to a point that it's impossible. If I tell, for example, that instead of 30 days that one dollar, we will wait 35 days, that five hundred million becomes 17 billion, 17 billion and there is a TED talk, a fantastic TED talk. Talking about this telling, asking you to think about a very thin paper. Ok, imagine the paper that people use for Bible is very thin and you fold, OK, and then you fold again. Every time you fold, you make the thickness of the paper double, you will double it. How many times do you think you need to fold to have a quite good thickness? It's funny if you fold forty-five times. Forty-five times, OK, it's the distance between the Earth and the Moon, and it's so hard for us to understand because it's incredibly hard for us to understand this kind of behaviour because it's not conventional. It's. Not under our limits of intuition. And this is why, for example, it's so hard when we see very tiny events or when we see very huge events, for example, astronomy, why it's so hard when we see these tiny dots in your sky and you think that this is a million times bigger than our sun? That for us, it's something incredibly big.
So how does this work? This is all about the scale because we are used to a natural scale where we live and why I'm talking about this in the environment we are in, in the project environment because many times very tiny challenges in your project can geo apart dies in an exponential way. And this is what the butterfly effect explains. This is what the PMBOK GUIDE 7th Edition talks about system thinking things are far more complex and they have this capacity of propagation that is just unconscionable. So what I'm telling you at the end is that, of course, you need to trust your intuition, and I really believe in that, but not only on that. Many times numbers and these mathematical trends can give you an insight that can be very powerful. And if you take an action in advance, you can benefit dramatically from this exponential positive growth or you can contain an exponential tragedy. And this is what really matters if we want to deliver successful projects. Think about that and see you next week with another Five Minutes Podcast.