The allure of exponential hockey stick growth is undeniable – but deceptive. As Jeff Matlow reveals, the S-Curve better captures the organic rhythms of progress in business and life. By embracing its cycles, we can grow sustainably.

The Fantasy of Instant Hockey Stick Trajectories

The dramatic vertical lift of hockey stick graphs excites imaginations. However, this near-instant acceleration rarely manifests in reality. Growth undulates through cycles, needing recovery and reflection.

Introducing the S-Curve Flow

The S-Curve better mirrors authentic growth’s alternating build-up and recovery phases:

  • Base: Strengthening foundations in the comfort zone
  • Build: Venturing out and expanding capabilities
  • Peak: Hitting maximum potential and achieving milestones
  • Recovery: Rejuvenating and avoiding burnout

This natural cadence enables continuous improvement.

Your Personal Energy S-Curve

Like companies, individuals need S-Curve cycles to thrive. Pushing endlessly at peak capacity leads to exhaustion and burnout. Listen to your energy levels and insert recovery periods.

Growth Is a Long Game

Sustainable progress isn’t instantaneous. Setbacks and plateaus are inevitable. Respect growth’s nonlinear nature. Be patient with yourself and celebrate small wins. Victory awaits those who endure.

Forget hockey sticks. Embrace the human ebb and flow of S-Curves. You’ll grow further by respecting your natural rhythms – peaks and valleys alike.


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