Step and Wait works better than Moore's Law.

How to Predict the Future of Technology?

A paper by Gareth James and Gerard Tellis, professors at the USC Marshall School of Business and their co-authors Ashish Sood, at Emory and Ji Zhu at the University of Michigan, concludes that Moore's Law does not apply for most industries, including the PC industry.

The paper offers a new model, Step and Wait (SAW), which more accurately tracks the path of technological evolution in six markets that the authors tested. According to the researchers, Moore's Law and other models such as Kryder's Law and Gompertz Law predict a smooth increasing exponential curve for the improvement in performance of various technologies. In contrast, the authors found that the performance of most technologies proceeds in steps (or jumps) of big improvements interspersed with waits (or periods of no growth in performance).

"We looked at the forest rather than the trees and see 'steps' and 'waits' across a variety of technologies," Tellis said. While no one law applies to every market, Tellis and his co-authors looked at 26 technologies in six markets from lighting to automobile batteries, and found that the SAW model worked in all six, in contrast to several other competing models.

What Tellis and his colleagues did come up with, are average performance improvements for the industry in terms of "steps" and wait times...

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Tags: Step and Wait

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