Building your business like a Fractal

by Ashvini on June 28, 2012 · 5 comments

in My Personal Thoughts

There is a huge science in behind Fractals. Fractals are patterns that get formed from a single line or point into something totally recognizable. For e.g. shape of a leaf or an island or even a living insect. Fractals are something that grow from a very small object( usually a point or a line) and then evolve into something that serves a purpose . Fractals

A fantastic example of how a fractal becomes a huge object is shown at where just converting a line into a rectangle and repeating the process leads to formation of a giant square. It is a huge subject which involves intensive study of mathematics and patterns.  Look at this for an interesting idea

A business house in India started with founder with just a modest start. Building business step by step and by forming and cementing relationship with their customers, they build the business organically and within three generation they were able to make a billion dollar empire. Most of the giants today anywhere in the world have been able to achieve such a success only with patience and slow growth.

Most of the businesses

  1. often start with a really modest plan.
  2. They serve a single customer for years before they get another one.
  3. They build their business organically by slow and steady expansion
  4. They do not venture out of their core strengths in a jiffy ( reminds me of the fact that when a business loses focus, it starts spending money like crazy on unrelated things. Haven’t you seen such businesses).
  5. They expand only when they can, not because they feel they should.
  6. They value relationship with their customers and build on their reputation.
  7. They build on what they know ( Rinse and repeat successful strategies)
  8. Competition shapes up their strategy but customer focus is more important to them.

These opinions may not reflect the fact that there are external funded business that scale up rapidly. However for a number of businesses who do not ( or cannot ) rely on external funding often need to do it this way. Even with external funding the fundamental principles of business do not go away.

Like Fractals they have to take the organic way of growth, building steadily and around a common vision.

If you write a book , you probably know how to start. You don’t have to know everything about book to write it in a short time rather, you can do it fractals way. Click on this link for an awesome explanation. ( If you want to write a large software, you need to start somewhere and then grow it from there.

About The Author


Trixie July 11, 2012 at 9:13 am

I agree with Adrienne, most things should not be taken carelessly and needs to know every little detail that can affect what your work. Time is gold but “LEARNING IS A CONTINUOUS PROCESS”, learn how the game plays and adopt with the changes.

Sonia July 4, 2012 at 5:52 am

When I worked for a start up, I remember all the expensive spending on free lunches, free food in the vending machine and other perks employees use to get. They didn’t really have a good plan and when they tried to go “big” and merge with a giant telecom, they failed miserably, sold out to AOL and laid all of its employees off. They started on a straight line, developed a product, started deviating from his core and ended up with a mess.

This also reminds me of a company called PicMonkey…the engineers worked for a small company called Picnik where they created a program where customers can use their services to manipulate photos if they didn’t have expensive programs like Adobe Photoshop. I don’t ever remember seeing advertisements for this company, but I remember how I found out about them: Word of mouth.

One by one, more customers came to use their service till they got the attention of Google and presto…instant millionaires. Now that the program is gone, it left its mark and I had never used the new adopted program now with Google. So the 3 engineers from the old company decided to recreate the same formula and in comes: PicMonkey. Same concept, but different layout and different functions. Again, no advertising and built its following one by one. I found it by accident: Word of mouth and again…instant sensation and their following shot through the roof.

I think when companies start looking at their competition and see them succeeding in areas where they don’t, they starting competing and start spending more then they have with no real plan on how to expand on their products to keep up. They come off desperate, develop stupid products or deliver nothing that rivals their competition (Blackberry Vs Apple).

Ashvini Kumar Saxena July 11, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Hey Sonia,

You told is about PicMonkey in your blog post and it was an awesome application. The points you make are absolutely clear.
I am summarizing them here.
1. Stick to what you know
2. Design for your customer
3. Be patient

When you can’t spend money on marketing, the only way to win customers is to listen to them and win them. It happens with gaining one customer at a time. It is the hard long way but the only sustainable way of creating great business. Unfortunately when companies grow big, they lose this focus and spiral towards destruction.

Thanks for your awesome comment once again :)

Adrienne July 3, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Hi Ashvini,

They serve a single customer for years before getting another one? Really? Wow.. I’ve never heard of that but then I’m sure they do things a little differently in India.

I agree, you should build things up slowly and not jump in all at one time. I mean a lot of times it’s a trial and error process so why dump money into something you aren’t sure is the right approach! Those are just my thoughts on this Ashvini.

Thanks for sharing and enjoy your week.


Ashvini Kumar Saxena July 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Hi Adrienne,

Many startups work with a large customer ( may not be only one) for a long time before diversifying. Maybe I should have worded it differently. I meant top customer(s).
I totally believe that putting a plan in action before we venture into new areas is a must. a lot of times it’s a trial and error process. I love this way of discovering till we hit right things .

Thanks for your comments Adrienne and your insights. You too have a great day :)

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