Innovation Cycles

Parent term
Innovation cycles help model how technologies develop over time

  • At first new technologies start out fuzzy, then they are clear
  • The costs of new technologies tends to fall exponentially (per unit) over time
  • The speed/capacity/throughput of electronics and information technologies tends to increase exponentially over time
  • The cost of physical-world technologies tends to decrease following a polynomial curve over time (robots, rockets)

Mega Innovations:  innovations that changed the way humans live and operate (500 year cycle)

  • Printing Press = changed communication, literacy and learning;   500years later the computer
  • Gunpowder changed fighting in the 1400s;  the Atom bomb 500 years later
  • Tall Sailing Ships;  500 years later jet airplanes