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The S_Curve

iPhone / iPad
  • Productivity
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Where Are You on the S-Curve and What to Do about It

Oedipus became king of Thebes, according to the ancient Greek tragedy, by resolving the riddle that the Sphinx put to him "Which unique being walks at times on two, at times on three, at times on four legs, and is weaker the more legs he walks on?"

You can build winning strategies by answering a somewhat related question: "Where are you on the curve?"

This application helps you find your position on a natural-growth curve (an S-curve). S-curves describe all processes of growth in competition governed by survival-of-the-fittest dynamics.

This is a striped-down version of a large professional package developed by Theodore Modis and described in his book Conquering Uncertainty (see website Whereas in that package there are six different ways to find your position on the curve, ranging from the simplest to the most elaborate, here we are dealing with only one method, albeit a sensitive and sophisticated one.

The approach is valid for enterprises, organizations, products, technologies, markets, and in general anything that grows in competition (for many insightful examples see Predictions, and Predictions-10 Years Later by Theodore Modis). You can also use it for non-business applications, such as career, productivity, artistic achievement, and personal relationships but then you'll need to interpret business terms like price, profit, return on investment, market share, market niche, benchmarking, re-engineering, and vertical integration accordingly.

While enterprises go through the different phases of the S-curve’s bell-shaped life cycle they experience good and bad business seasons. Is your company appropriately dressed for the season it is traversing?

This application uses a powerful method based on a simple questionnaire to determine your position in the season with an accuracy of half a season. The approach leverages the sensitivity ingrained in the S-curve's second mathematical derivative.

Once you know the season and where in it you are, appropriate strategies can be found by taking clues from Mother Nature. The right strategy can help a business weather the season it’s in; the wrong one can be as useful as a fur coat in summertime (see Chapter 2 in Conquering Uncertainty.)