#03: What is Exponential Technology?

What is exponential technology and why does it matter? For many, the term can seem overwhelming. While this may deter us from learning more about what it actually is, Pascall Finette says we should be doing just the opposite.

To gain a better understanding of exponential technology, we invited globally renowned public speaker and co-founder of radical Ventures, Pascal Finette to the Future Forecast podcast. This article covers part of the conversation. 

Technology, especially in recent years, has been growing and changing at an accelerated pace. In fact, processing power is predicted to double every two years. As humans, we may simply be trying to keep up with the newest iPhone. However, as business owners and leaders, we should strive to stay ahead of this curve. Exponential technology expert, Pascal Finette shares what this means for the future of business.

Understanding the exponential curves

If you remember back to your middle school math class, typically exponential means a number will double in each set time period. Using that as a base, “exponential technology” refers to technology that doubles in processing power each year, while the cost stays stagnant or actually decreases. Finette explains the trajectory of exponential technology as a “hockey stick,” where the end of the curve increases rapidly – just as technology and computing power has increased rapidly over recent years.

Most technology moves on this exponentially growing curve. Meaning the phone in your pocket today has as much, if not more computing power as a super computer in the 90’s, but actually costs less. Moore’s Law, a term specific to computing predicts that processing power for computers will double every two years.

While Technology moves rapidly on an exponential curve, humans do not. Our brains are wired to understand the world in a linear sense. This means it is hard for us to intuitively understand these technological trends.

Ray Kurzweil, one of the world’s leading inventors explained, “Our intuition about the future is linear. But the reality of information technology is exponential, and that makes a profound difference. If I take 30 steps linearly, I get to 30. If I take 30 steps exponentially, I get to a billion.

The Future of business in an exponential world

Understanding these trends and staying ahead of the technological curve can help us solve problems in this ever-changing landscape. Deloitte Insights delves into the theory that organizations will find success by creating structures and processes which effectively encourage innovation in the face of exponential change.

Pascal Finette believes a change in mindset is where businesses need to start in this ever-changing world of tech. Learning how to think exponentially and making sense of fast-paced trends can keep organizations on par with the technological curve. He explains, an organization usually has all the resources it needs to be successful in a traditional sense. However, learning new skills which can be applied to rapidly changing technology, unlearning skills that may be outdated is where companies and leaders will find future success.

Listen to the Future Forecast podcast episode with Pascal Finette to learn more: