The Principle of The Flywheel

This is a slide from Will Critchlow’s presentation at the Distilled seminar in London last Friday.

Will used the slide to describe his experience of building a business, though he mentioned he thought it was applicable to many different areas.  And I agree.

The Flywheel vs Cycling Uphill Line Graph

The analogy goes as follows…

When cycling uphill, you start off with great gusto, and seem to be getting somewhere, but as you cycle further and further uphill, you get to the point where you barely feel like you’re moving.

Contrast this with the flywheel, which can take ages to get moving, but once it’s really going, you would struggle to stop it even if you wanted to.

In the example of building a business, Will discussed how the activities that bring results initially are not the same ones that will bring you long-term success.  For example, when Will first started Distilled (with Duncan Morris), they went door-to-door in the local area.  Their first client job was building a website for the local hairdresser.

However, it was stuff like blogging, tweeting, building relationships and running events that have really enabled Distilled to produce rapid growth, despite the low return of these activities for at least a year!

Anyway, I liked the metaphor (and the graph), so thought I’d share it on here with you.