The Power of 2.

You might think that the number “2” is a small number and that 8,000,000,000 is a huge number. Well, think of it this way, 2 is the number of parents it takes to make one person, and 8,000,000,000 is roughly the population of the world. It would literally be impossible to talk to everyone in the world in one lifetime. What if I told you, I could send a message to every person in the whole world in just over 1 month by only talking to 2 people? I won’t even need them to post on social media. Seems impossible right?

What if that message was, “talk to 2 people tomorrow, and have each of those people spread this message to 2 new people.” Well, that changes things a bit. By day 3 those people have already spread the message to 4 more people bringing our total number of people with this message to 7. Me + my parents (2) + all of their parents (4). The next day we add another 8 to that total, because each of my grandparents have now told 2 of each of their own relatives the message, bringing us to 15 by day 4. By day 10, we are at 1025. Now you might be saying, that seems like not many people after 10 days. I could call 1000 people in just a couple days myself. Well, what about day 11? We’re at 2049 people and on day 20 we’re already over a million people! The last 10 days continue and we’re spreading the message to MILLIONS of people EVERY DAY. So much so that on day 30, 1 BILLION new people have heard our message, and by 33 days we would have been able to reach over 8.5 BILLION people, if the world even had that many.

That’s pretty cool if you ask me. Now imagine that you changed the message to “find 2 new people to donate $1 to charity, and then spread this message.” Most people can afford a single dollar to donate, and even if only half the world can donate that dollar, that’s still over $3.8 BILLION IN JUST 1 MONTH! If half of everyone just subscribes to donate less than half a coffee a month, that’s over $45 BILLION dollars a year. For comparison, the U.S. federal government spends about $80 BILLION on education annually.

That is some pretty cool stuff, and I hope you enjoy the knowledge. Donate a dollar, and change the world.

You might have noticed that this idea can actually apply to anything. This is why it’s so important to stay home when you’re sick. If you accidentally get 2 people sick, well… You just might get the whole world sick in 30 days. This isn’t a message just regarding the recent development of Covid-19. It’s actually a message most healthcare workers have recommended for over a century, and for good reason.

Humans Powered.

To truly understand the power of exponents, let’s look at a fundraising challenge.

Let’s say you’re a real go-getter and recruited 1000 volunteers to go out and collect donations from people. They manage to average $10 per person and 3.6 donations per hour per volunteer over the course of a month. That’s pretty respectable. The total raised would be $10*1000 people*24 hours*3.6 donations/(person*hour)*30 days. Which comes out to a generous $25,920,000. That’s a lot of work but quite a bit of reward for that work I’d say. The volunteers did an amazing job!

I’m a bit lazy though and am pretty patient providing people actually do what they’re supposed to. I tell my mom and my fiancé to just donate a single dollar today to a fund and for each of them to get two more people to donate a dollar by tomorrow. Everyone who donates a dollar only has to get 2 more people to donate by the next day. It’s maybe 10 minutes per person of work and just a single dollar. That’s really easy.

At the beginning you are absolutely doing an amazing job and destroying us financially in the competition. After 10 days, you have over $8.6 MILLION already and I have a measly $1000 dollars… Things are not looking good for me. After 20 days, things start looking better, but you’re already up to $17.3 Million and we’re at just $1 million. You’re beating us by a significant amount, but I have 10 days left to beat you. My trend continues and you end up with another $860,000 dollars on day 21. I’m up to over $2 million. Day 22, you add $860,000. I add $2million. Day 23: +$860,000 and +$4.2 million. Day 24: +$860,000 and +$8.4 Million. I just raised the same amount in a SINGLE day as you raised in 10! Day 25: +$860,000 and +$16.8 Million. Totals are at YOU: $21.6 Million vs ME: $33.55 Million. And I’m only going to be adding far more than you earned in the past 25 days EVERY DAY. At the end of it I only talked to 2 people for 5 minutes and had them each donate a single dollar. I waited 30 days and we collected over $1 BILLION dollars. That’s 40 times more than you collected and we averaged 10x less money per person with a fraction of the effort for each of our volunteers. Want to extend the competition by a day? Well, now we just made 80 times what you did. This is why in charity spreading a message is MORE IMPORTANT than the actual act of donating. It’s not about how much any one of us donates, it’s how many people each one of us convinces to donate.

Let’s look at if things were changed and I got 3 people to get 3 people to donate a dollar. We’re at only $59,049 on day 10, but by day 15 we’re at $14.35 Million already to your $12.96 Million.  By day 20 we’ve reached half the world, and given that the other half likely doesn’t have a dollar to donate. We’ll just call it quits. That’s $3.487 BILLION dollars in 20 days. Even if only the last group of people to be contacted on day 20 donated a single dollar, that would still be more money raised at $1.16 Billion in that one day, than the first scenario in the entire month.

Human power is great, but humans to the power (of 2), is extraordinary!

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