One of the high points of Product Camp Vol 2 was listening to Ani Bhalekar‘s talk on S-Curves. I had my big Aha! moment while the concept made perfect sense to me. This blog post is derived from his talk.

Businesses, or the products of businesses, follow an S curve that are characterised by a shallow start, where only early adopters and niche markets buy the product or invest in the company. Then they experience a rapid growth, and the product or business has a dominant position in the market. After the rapid growth, these businesses maintain a high performance level but with little growth, which often signals a mature but saturated market.

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Since every innovation that drives growth hits a plateau after attaining saturation, organisations should look for fostering more such S curves in the growth phase instead of waiting till saturation phase.

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An example of a company trying to foster more S curves is Facebook. There is nothing else that explains its mindbloggling 17B acquisition of WhatsApp. This is because Facebook is beginning to plateau in its rate of growing base.

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Biggest take away:  Keep looking for the S curves in your product.

There is however an interesting parallel that an S curve can be drawn to one’s own career. I highly recommend you to read this HBR article on Throw Your Life a Curve.

http://blogs.hbr.org/2012/09/throw-your-life-a-curve/