The Innovators Dilemma: New Applications to Old Ideas

Innovators are tormented by their tendency to overlook new applications of old technologies. It took about 40 years for radios to become commonplace in cars. Scott Page points out that all of the parts required to create an engine existed for 20 years before someone created an engine. There were decades in which erasers and pencils existed separately but not together. Nassim Taleb notes that it took humans thousands of years to think of putting wheels on luggage—and it occurred 30 years after airports sold carts with wheels.

Generally, the longer a technology exists, the more difficult it is to apply in new ways.

Comments are closed.