069: Tech Epochs (II)

Season Two Apr 19, 2021

Growing up, our early computers were slow, huge, and boxy. Dial-up internet ran through the phone line. And "software" was delivered in physical boxes by mail, installed via giant disks.

How fast things change!

Two frameworks

Maybe you've seen this hype cycle graphic?

It's a model for how new technologies (often) get adopted:

1️⃣ A spark of early promise and potential
2️⃣ A frothy peak of overblown expectations
3️⃣ The sad "trough of disillusionment"
4️⃣ Eventually, a more realistic equilibrium

Many have attempted to explain how new tools and ideas spread from a handful of intrepid early adopters to the more risk-averse, slow-moving majority (see: Diffusion of Innovations, or Crossing the Chasm).

I wonder:

How do innovations move from small, overlooked niches to become accepted mainstream "norms"?

When have you been an early vs. late adopter? What made the difference?

Why do some things drift quickly towards obsolescence, while others remain timeless, relevant, and evergreen?

... Am I operating under an outdated version of the internet?

How does Twitter work?

In case you missed Part 1

068: Tech Epochs
A theory of technology cycles and change, inspired by Douglas Adams.

Thanks for the mail 👇

071: Reader Mailbag (VII)
Reactions to the “Tech Epochs” series.

Some other business-y posts

MBA - The Fire Jar
Business insights. Limited-ish jargon.