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The Age of Innovation

Innovation across the planet started in slow waves that could be measured in
millennia, spans of a thousand years. These waves have been speeding
up. Take a look at this chart I made of some of civilization’s most
far-reaching innovations:

200,000 –
150,000 BC
Hunting &
10,000 – 5,000
1400 –
1700 AD
Renaissance, printing press, patent law, gunpowder
1600 –
1800 AD
Closed field
agriculture: mechanization, crop rotation, selective breeding & the
resulting population explosion
1750 –
1850 AD
The Industrial
Revolution and its impact on manufacturing, transportation, labor,
interchangeable parts, petroleum, electrification, and mass production
1945 – present The Atomic Age
including nuclear power
1955 – present The Jet Age
makes global transportation accessible
1960s – present The Computer
Age including space travel, large scale computation capacity,
integrated circuit technology and microprocessors, data mining,
redistribution of income, and the rise of the knowledge worker
1990 – present The Internet
Age including the ubiquity of the World Wide Web, personal computers,
smart phones, mass gaming, virtualization, practically unlimited
storage, the cloud, and augmented realities

The last four ages are still in process. They are piling up on and
interacting with each other. The resulting complex environment is often
rife with turbulence, a good description of today’s business world.
At the same time this chaos regularly gives birth to new orders, new
ways of organizing. With that come new capacities and
opportunities.  As a result we have entered an era of innovation.

Where is the next frontier? Take a look at the models in your head!
Where can you bend the rules and create a new business model, a novel
service, or a radical product?