The S-Curve of technology advancement is explained in my new video, by Tony Seba and Jonathan Koomey, both energy experts. But the idea is not a new one. See below video.

Harvard Business Review:

Many people suggest that rates of new product introduction and adoption are speeding up, but is it really, across the board? The answer seems to be yes. An automobile industry trade consultant, for instance, observes that “Today, a typical automotive design cycle is approximately 24 to 36 months, which is much faster than the 60-month life cycle from five years ago.”  The chart below, created by Nicholas Felton of the New York Times, shows how long it took various categories of product, from electricity to the Internet, to achieve different penetration levels in US households.  It took decades for the telephone to reach 50% of households, beginning before 1900.  It took five years or less for cellphones to accomplish the same penetration in 1990.  As you can see from the chart, innovations introduced more recently are being adopted more quickly.  By analogy, firms with competitive advantages in those areas will need to move faster to capture those opportunities that present themselves.

On this day, 60 years ago, May 25, 1961, John Kennedy challenged America to put a man on the moon before the end of that decade.

Though the technologies needed to achieve that goal had only been envisioned, not yet built, bold expert engineers thought the goal was within reach, and that the alternative, of ceding Cold War technological supremacy to the Soviet Union, was not acceptable.

Similarly today, President Biden has set goals for climate action that some feel are too optimistic. In our case the technologies needed are fully available already, with more improvements sure to come.