lincolnq comments on Giving What We Can is still growing at a surprisingly good pace - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: lincolnq 14 September 2018 09:30:33AM 3 points [-]

I think you're right that hiring your first staff/online signup put you onto the exponential curve. And you didn't fall off of the exponential until you de-emphasized it -- if you fit the exponential from 2014-2017 and extrapolate to today, you might hit something like 8000 members. So if you think staying on-curve seems plausible if you were to have continued working on it, I would guess that de-emphasizing growth still cost you users, even as you continued to grow linearly.

Comment author: Robert_Wiblin 15 September 2018 05:55:39PM *  1 point [-]

If you look at these graphs ending in January 2017 I think you'll agree that a polynomial of degree 3 (cubic) seems like the best fit: https://imgur.com/a/9SlFZd9 .

If that's right we would expect something like 5,000 members by now.

It occurs to me now that all of these trend-lines are a bit biased towards forecasting rapid growth, as they finish right at the end of the 2016 holiday campaign which absorbed substantial resources. This was the highest period of growth, and likely not sustainable. It might be more reasonable to put the end-date in ~April and then we can fit the trend-line to a less cyclical curve.

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 17 September 2018 03:48:56AM 3 points [-]

Luckily we have metrics that can evaluate goodness of fit and don't have to rely on our eyeballs. :)

More seriously, thanks a bunch for putting this together. I want to revisit the original growth metrics post sometime in January 2019 (I think Jan-Dec metrics are better than Aug-Jul metrics) and I'll definitely include this post.