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Technology overshooting

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An introduction to technology overshooting and some criticism of the Technology S-curve.

An introduction to technology overshooting and some criticism of the Technology S-curve.

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  • 1. TechnologyOvershooting
  • 2. Christian Sandström holds a PhD from ChalmersUniversity of Technology, Sweden. He writes and speaksabout disruptive innovation and technological change.
  • 3. This presentation will discusssome of the limitations of the Technology S-curve.
  • 4. First, let’s briefly review the concept of a technology S-curve. A more completeintroduction can be found here.
  • 5. Performance Time
  • 6. Performance A technology’s performanceevolves slowly in the beginning. Time
  • 7. Performance A technology’s At some point, a performance breakthroughevolves slowly in happens and it now the beginning. improves rapidly. Time
  • 8. Performance Limits of what is scientifically possible are reached and performance doesn’t increase much more. A technology’s At some point, a performance breakthroughevolves slowly in happens and it now the beginning. improves rapidly. Time
  • 9. When one technology is displaced by anothertechnology, the pattern might look something like this:
  • 10. Performance Time
  • 11. Performance Time
  • 12. The concept can thus be applied in order to compare technologies and understand when one technology will displace another one.
  • 13. However, there are somelimitations, and the Technology S-curve can in fact be misleading.
  • 14. Consider thefollowing example:
  • 15. The graph below suggests that mobile phone cameras are increasingly used instead of DSLR cameras…
  • 16. And perhaps even moreevidently, mobile phone cameras are displacing compact cameras.
  • 17. The Technology S-curve would predict that a technology is more likely to be displaced when it has reached the limitsof what is scientifically possible.
  • 18. But compact cameras have notreached this limit – in fact theyare becoming better and better all the time.
  • 19. But compact cameras have notreached this limit – in fact theyare becoming better and better all the time.Yet still they’re being replaced…
  • 20. This simple example illustrates one of the greatest problems with the Technology S-curve:
  • 21. This simple example illustrates one of the greatest problems with the Technology S-curve:it doesn’t take the market into consideration.
  • 22. Another problem:It is one-dimensional, but technologies need to be compared across several dimensions.
  • 23. Let’s try to map compactcameras and mobile phones in a different way!
  • 24. We’ll introduce anotherperformance dimension along the X-axis.
  • 25. Performance 1
  • 26. Performance 1 Performance 2
  • 27. Image Quality Portability
  • 28. We also try to take the marketinto consideration somehow.
  • 29. Image Quality Portability
  • 30. Image Quality Image Quality customers need Portability
  • 31. Image Quality Up here, image quality is not creating any additional customer value. Who needs another megapixel when you have 10 already? Image Quality customers need Portability
  • 32. Now, let’s try again to comparemobile and compact cameras.
  • 33. Image Quality Image Quality customers need Portability
  • 34. Image Quality By 2005, compact cameras offered good image quality and were easy to bring along Image Quality customers need Portability
  • 35. Image Quality By 2005, compact cameras offered good image quality and were easy to bring along Image Quality customers need Portability
  • 36. Image Quality By 2005, compact cameras offered good image quality and were easy to bring along Image Quality customers needMobile cameras offered lowerimage quality, but were more ’portable’ Portability
  • 37. The image quality of bothproducts then improves over the following years.
  • 38. What happens?
  • 39. Image Quality Image Quality customers need Portability
  • 40. Image Quality Image Quality customers need Portability
  • 41. Image Quality Increased image quality does not result in additional customer value! Image Quality customers need Portability
  • 42. Image Quality Increased image quality does not result in additional customer value! Image Quality customers need Portability
  • 43. Image Quality Increased image quality does not result in additional customer value! Image Quality customers need Portability
  • 44. Image Quality Increased image quality does not result in additional customer value! Image Quality customers needMobile cameras still offer worse image quality, but it is good enough. Also, they are easier to bring along. At this point, compact cameras will be replaced, this started to happen in 2005-2006… Portability
  • 45. The phenomenon is called’Technology overshooting’, and refers to when technologieshave not reached their peak of the S-curve, but are stillreplaced because customers do not value additional performance.
  • 46. Find out more:www.christiansandstrom.org