Hockey Stick of Growth

When an entrepreneur starts a company one of the things they all secretly dream about is the hockey stick of growth, which is exponential growth within months of starting up. Beyond the entrepreneur, it seems everyone is chasing the “new thing” whether  it is reporters, venture capitalists or consumers who all want to be a part of the winning team.

So how do you achieve the hockey stick of growth? That is like asking what is the meaning of life. Achieving exponential growth is a combination of many things – product fit, hard work, excellent team, market timing, money to spend, etc…and of course luck. So in essence there is no real answer to the question, you can only guess and make assumptions.

Recently, an internet company called Evernote added it’s 5 millionth user and they talked about their growth curve on their blog.  The first million users took 446 days to achieve whereas adding the most recent 1 million users took only 83 days. That is absolutely hockey stick growth by any measure.

It’s not only about growth but also retaining those customers, as they say “easy come, easy go.” Friendster one of the first social networking sites had so much exponential growth early on that their servers would constantly crash. This left many users frustrated and looking for other sites they could visit such as MySpace. Of course, as an entrepreneur the first goal is to get big and then worry about turning into the next Friendster.

The above article originally appeared on

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