The technology pendulum never stops swinging. Its rhythms create, then disrupt, then transform, delighting users while enriching innovators. When tech revolutions reach middle age innovators give way to optimizers, markets saturate, and products ossify. That is what creates the right conditions for the next cycle. Having been at this game since minicomputers vanquished punch cards, I’ve ridden enough waves to respect the rhythm.
Each cycle has its own tools. Tools have been agents of change since cavemen figured out how to chip flint. Most tools start out as cumbersome curiosities, nurtured by a motivated few. Those that provide competitive advantage proliferate, evolving into blessings. Then they become essentials, before aging into relics waiting for the next wave of innovation to wash them away.
The dominant tech innovations of our times – the PC, the Internet, and the smartphone – crawled out of separate primordial swamps powered by common semiconductor DNA. For half a century, Moore’s Law enabled spectacular growth. But as pointed out recently by Broadcom’s chairman and CTO Henry Samueli, “The Moore’s Law blowout sale is ending.”
To read the rest of the column click here.