The 5% Rule

How small shifts lead to big changes

I first discovered this effect in March of 2014 when I read the Edison Energy paper on solar energy adoption. They determined that even a 5% adoption of solar energy would be enough to “tip the scales irreversibly”. This is when I coined the term, “The 5% Rule”, which I defined as when 5% change is enough to cause a systemic change.

3 Examples:

1.”Electric vehicles close to ‘tipping point’ of mass adoption…In 2020, 4.2% of new cars were electric.”:

2. 5% of people using solar energy instead of grid energy is enough to tip the scales irreversibly*:

*Disruptive Challenges: Financial Implications and Strategic Responses to a Changing Retail Electric Business by Edison Electric Institute:

3. 5% of people buying things online instead of stores lead to the decline of malls in America: