The Six Ds of Exponential Technologies

Maggie Sun
3 min readSep 14


The Six Ds of Exponentials is a framework developed by Peter Diamandis, a well-known entrepreneur, author, futurist, and the founder of the XPRIZE Foundation and Singularity University. The framework explains the six stages that technologies and innovations typically go through, offering valuable insights into how technological advancements can reshape industries, economies, and societies.

1. Digitization: The first stage involves the digital transformation of information, products, or services. This is when analog processes or products are converted into digital formats, making them easier to manipulate and distribute. For example, the digitization of music has transformed the entire music industry. With the advent of digital music, people can now access millions of songs from anywhere in the world.

2. Deception: In the early stages of exponential technologies, their growth can be deceptive. They may not appear to be significant, but they are quietly advancing and doubling in power, often unnoticed by most people. For example, in the early days of the internet, many people dismissed it as a fad that would never catch on. However, as more and more people began to use the internet, it became clear that it was here to stay.

3. Disruption: Once a technology or innovation reaches a certain point in its growth curve, it can disrupt existing industries and paradigms. This disruption can be rapid and transformative, fundamentally changing how things are done. For example, the rise of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft has disrupted the taxi industry by providing a more convenient and affordable alternative.

4. Demonetization: As exponential technologies advance, they often lead to reduced costs or even the elimination of costs associated with certain products or services. This can make previously expensive goods or services more affordable or even free. For example, the cost of solar panels has dropped dramatically in recent years, making them accessible to more people than ever before.

5. Dematerialization: Exponential technologies tend to reduce the physical footprint of products and services. This means that what used to require physical materials or resources can be accomplished virtually or with minimal physical assets. For example, the rise of e-books has led to a decline in the sales of physical books, as more people opt for digital versions.

6. Democratization: As technologies become more advanced and accessible, they become available to a broader range of people and organizations. This can empower individuals and smaller entities to participate in industries and activities that were once dominated by larger players. For example, the rise of social media has democratized the way we consume and share information, giving everyone a voice on a global platform.

The Six Ds of Exponentials framework is a versatile tool that can be applied to a wide range of contexts. It facilitates a comprehensive understanding of the transformative power of exponential technologies, assists in the analysis and prediction of the impact of emerging technologies and innovations, and enhances organizations’ readiness to effectively respond to future changes.


Ramirez, V. B. (2016, Nov. 22). The 6 Ds of Tech Disruption: A Guide to the Digital Economy.

Michaelis, M. (2019, Nov.). Preparing for the Exponential Technology Revolution.

Rojas, M. A. (n.d.). Exponential Technologies in a Nutshell.

Creative HQ. (n.d.). What is exponential technology?

Related articles and books:

Agile Leadership Explained: We Can All Be Agile Leaders and Change the World Together! (Kobo)

Agile Leadership Explained: We Can All Be Agile Leaders and Change the World Together! (Amazon)

Collet, B. (2019). Agile leadership. (Online course).



Maggie Sun

MBA, certified agile coach and experienced strategy analyst, specializing in business agility, agile leadership, Beyond Budgeting, and general management.