Exponential Organizations

Salim Ismail , Yuri Van Geest , Michael S. Malone

Exponential Organizations



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Exponential Organisations is the fruit of research carried out by its authors on 100 startups that grew exponentially in just a few years, to highlight their common attributes. The study showed ten traits that define a company with the potential to revolutionise the business world using innovative technologies. As well as these ten common attributes, there is an eleventh essential ingredient that is key to any exponential organisation: great aspiration. This book is a practical manual which explains how following the ten principles outlined can help us prosper and experience exponential growth. 

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Analysis and key concepts


An exponential firm is based on technology to transform the material into digital format, and has ten times the impact of its competitors


The starting point for an exponential organisation is to think big and aim high


The five external attributes of an exponential organisation: Staff on demand, Community and crowds, Algorithms, Leveraged Assets and Engagement - SCALE


The five internal tools that enable the company to operate effectively and carefully: Interface, Dashboards, Experimentation, Autonomy, Social Technologies


The new key dynamics of the ecosystem of exponential organisations


The attributes of an exponential organisation can be implemented step by step


An established company can be turned into an exponential organisation: the Ted example




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Build a fast, innovative company which can stay competitive in our fast-paced world.
  • Understand that it no longer makes sense to base business forecasts on linear growth.
  • Recognise the lightning speed of innovative tech.

Salim Ismail is founding executive director of Singularity University, an institution created to study the impact of exponentially growing technologies on companies and industry, and the great challenges of humanity. He was vice president of Yahoo, creating and managing its internal incubator. He has founded and worked for several emerging companies; one of these, Angstro, was sold to Google in 2010. He graduated in theoretical physics from the University of Waterloo, Canada.

Yuri Van Geest is the consultant and managing director of Singularity University Summit Europe, as well as a former student of Singularity. He has a master's degree in Strategic Management from Erasmus University in Rotterdam, and is considered a key figure in the global Lean Startup and Tedx movements. He has worked as a consultant for companies such as Google, Adidas, and Heineken.

Michael S. Malone is one of the most famous authors in the world on the subject of technology. For more than thirty years he has been involved in Silicon Valley and high tech. He writes for The Wall Street Journal, and was editor of Forbes Asap, a leading tech magazine during the dot-com boom. He has written and co-written around twenty books as well as a TV series. He has an MBA from Santa Clara University, where he teaches professional writing.

Publishing house:

Diversion Books