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The R Number

The R Number
By Mustafa Sultan • Issue #36 • View online
We had some success with explainthispaper this week.

Our summary of DeepMind’s recent protein folding breakthrough went (sort of) viral on Reddit/Hacker News.
It’s nice getting a big influx of users — but what’s more important is how many return to the site/sign up to the newsletter. It’s about turning those initial sparks into sustained growth.
In those terms, we were less of a success (or in marketing speak, we have a leaky funnel).
The R Number
I’ve been quite happy with fleeting bursts of growth like this, but Stu made an interesting point—
Our ‘R number’ (~passive growth) is not >1 yet. It’s probably something like 0.8. Without our continued effort, the site would slowly dwindle and die.
An R number of 1.01 results in a 37x gain over a year
An R number of 1.01 results in a 37x gain over a year
Of course, this isn’t an original thought. Atomic Habits popularised the power of daily incremental gains in self-development—
You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.
Atomic Habits, James Clear
In a project/startup, we need to make a passive growth engine to sustain this daily incremental growth.
How? That’s what we’re working on…
#041 Leadership Shorts: Dr Nadine Hachach-Haram BEM
All the best,
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Mustafa Sultan

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