Technology.... Is it Different this Time?

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Up until 2015, I was oblivious to the impact technology was going to have on society. The main reason for this was I didn't give Moore's law any perspective. When I did it blow my mind and that's what I want to share with you today!

In this short article, my aim is to give you perspective on the rate technology is advancing with a clear simple example.

Some historians claim that this revolution is no different to revolutions of the past but I believe it to be extremely different and that is because of the increasing pace in which technology is growing. I am going to give you perspective on this by using an example I read in a book by Martin Ford called The Rise of the Robots.

"It gave me a much greater appreciation for how fast technology is growing. So he uses this example to give a real life understanding that we can all relate too."


So firstly this example is based on Moore’s Law, which is that computer power doubles every 18 - 24 months.

In his example, Martin Ford uses 24 months.

So imagine you get in a car and start travelling at 5mph and after one minute you double your speed and after another minute you double your speed again and after another minute you double your speed again and so on and so forth.

So the speed the car is travelling equals the power of computing and 1 minute equals 24 months.The introduction of the integrated circuit was in 1958.

Minute 1 - (1958) you are travelling at 5 mph.

Minute 2 - (1960) you are travelling at 10 mph.

Minute 3 - (1962) you are travelling at 20 mph.

Minute 4 - (1964) you are travelling at 40 mph

Now in 2017, the car would be travelling a whopping 2.684 Billion MPH


You can see with this simple yet powerful example how much computer power has progressed since its inception in 1958.

The Rate of Change Itself is Accelerating

But this example reveals a greater eye opener than just how powerful computers have become. It also shows how much ground computer power grows in each 24-month cycle.

Using Martin Ford's example above, in 1958 the car was travelling 440 feet per minute. Now in 2017, that car is travelling at 44,739 Million miles per minute.

The fact that computer power doubles every couple of years, it is easy to fall into the illusion that it doubles at the same speed when in fact it is accelerating and every 24 months it makes a bigger leap compared to the previous cycle.


It is unlikely to continue indefinitely as there will be physical limits to how small they can make the necessary parts but experts expect Moore’s law to hold on for another couple of decades. Some say by that time though there will be new software that will keep this trend going!

Many people are sleeping to what is happening and I hope with the above example has given you a better perspective and respect for how fast technology is advancing and how that trend is going to continue.

It is time to wake up to the fact that this is not a fad and it ain’t going away! If you want to stay ahead of the curve then now would be the time to start re-skilling. It’s never too late!

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