We've all heard the buzzwords – AI, Crypto, Quantum Computing, Metaverse, blah blah. Every week you'll see a new headline to the tune of "Scientists discover X which will completely revolutionise Y."
Years later, you're still waiting for the revolution. What happened to Internet of Things / VR / Bitcoin completely changing your day-to-day? Why did we get shitty lipsync TikToks instead of personal robots?
This week, following the hype of DALL-E and in the midst of a new AI-based product launching almost everyday to ride the wave (e.g. AvatarAI.me selling $100K in 10 days), I wanted to share a profound graphic from HBR about technology over the last century:
- When a technology has market pull, it spreads much faster now than it did ever before. By "market pull," I mean that people actively want to use the technology (e.g. the iPhone / smartphone) rather than the technology needing to be forced on to them (e.g. Metaverse). We can see that technologies like the internet or cellphones took only a decade or so to get 50% penetration, while it took significantly longer previously (50+ years for telephones).
- Building hype is much easier now than ever. The "mitigating factor" against apparent tech adoption is that you hear about new technologies much more easily and earlier in the development cycle, and are inevitably left hanging for years. Stable Diffusion / image AI is an exception, where we see a bleeding edge tech already deployed in consumer-facing apps because "adoption" is not much harder than packaging a script and presenting it on a web front-end for users. The majority of upcoming tech, such as Decentralised Finance or Autonomous Vehicles, is not so straightforward.
All that to say...
New tech is coming, and will inevitably affect our day-to-day. When it's ready for deployment it will scale rapidly (e.g. social media in mid-2000s), but it's important to bear in mind that in this day and age, we hear about tech even before that 0% point on the adoption graph.