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Technology lifecycle

Most new technologies follow a similar technology lifecycle. This is similar to a product lifecycle, but applies to an entire technology, or a generation of a technology.

There is usually technology hype at the introduction of any new technology, but only after some time has passed can it be judged as true hype or justified acclaim. Because of the logistic curve nature of technology adoption, it is difficult to see at in the early stages whether the hype is excessive.

The two errors commonly committed in the early stages of a technology's development are:

  • fitting an exponential curve to the first part of the growth curve, and assuming eternal exponential growth
  • fitting a linear curve to the first part of the growth curve, and assuming that takeup of the new technology is disappointing

Similarly, in the later stages, the opposite mistakes can be made relating to the possibilities of technology maturity and market saturation.

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