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Summary

Technological development follows an evolutionary pattern in which scientists and engineers work within frameworks that limit problem-solving approaches to a prevailing paradigm. At certain points in time, new technologies appear that radically shift the underlying technological paradigm. These radical shifts provide an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs to enter industries, as long as they can successfully manage the technological transition.

Managing a technological transition first requires you to understand Foster’s technological development S-curve. The S-curve shows that technologies initially experience slow performance improvement because of the process of learning. Then breakthroughs are made and technologies improve dramatically. In the final phase, improvement slows as laws of diminishing returns kick in. At this point a new technology often appears, leading to a transition to a new S-curve.


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