People seem to routinely overestimate the impact of new technologies in the short-run and under estimate the long-run impact. As a rule of thumb, a new technologies impact will be overestimated for 3-7 years looking forward, and underestimated 7-10 years out
The Old Paradigm: Rely on quasi-monopoly and second-rate legacy products to squeeze users starved of choice for every last penny (*cough* Microsoft, *cough* *cough*).
The New Paradigm: Put end-users first and profits will follow. (Google).
Much can be said about the corporate cultures (particularly Google’s) which have in part enabled this brand of user-centric thinking, but that is a topic for another discussion.
Time and time again Google has put the best interests of their users AHEAD of their own share-holders and short-term bottom line. This isn’t to say that they are profit agnostic in the slightest, they happen to make very healthy profits, rather they believe that doing right by their customers will earn them more loyalty (read: money) in the long run.
To phrase it another way: Google is not successful in-spite of putting users interests first, to the contrary, they are successful BECAUSE they put users’ interests first.
I’ve been wondering for awhile, how come in the face of deflationary pressures (decrease in price/performance ratio), the amount of overall $ consumed of technology continues to rise. As it turns out the answer is actually quite obvious, or so it is made to seem by the omniscient Ray Kurzweil (fast forward video to time 41:12).
It’s hard not to be wildly optimistic about what the future holds when Ray Kurzweil lays it out it so matter-of-factly.
Our intuition is linear, so many scientists think in linear terms and expect that the slow pace of the past will characterize the future. But the reality of progress in information technology is exponential, not linear. What used to take up a building now fits in my pocket, and what now fits in my pocket will fit inside a blood cell in 25 years.
A hype cycle is a graphic representation of the maturity, adoption and business application of specific technologies. The term was coined by Gartner, an analyst/research house, based in the United States, that provides opinions, advice and data on the global information technology industry.
Notice that the adjusted expectations during the plateau never quite live up to the initial inflated expectations of the peak.