Worldwide, The Rate of Technological Adoption is Accelerating. That’s Very Mixed News. | Summary and Q&A

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June 7, 2015
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Big Think
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Worldwide, The Rate of Technological Adoption is Accelerating. That’s Very Mixed News.

TL;DR

Technology is accessible worldwide and its adoption is occurring at a rapid pace, disrupting industries and changing the structure of competition.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How has the accessibility of technology changed globally?

Technology is no longer limited to large companies or developed nations. People in developing economies own smartphones and other technologies at similar rates, sometimes even before having access to basic amenities like sanitation.

Q: How does the rate of adoption of technology compare to other innovations?

The adoption of technology is occurring at an astonishing rate. For example, Twitter reached 50 million users in just nine months, while television took 38 years to achieve the same level of penetration.

Q: What are the economic implications of digital technologies?

Digital technologies have a non-rivalrous and non-excludable nature, meaning that one person's use of these technologies does not limit others' access. This creates consumer surplus and has disrupted various industries by reducing marginal costs.

Q: How does technology impact competition and industry structure?

Technology allows companies to compete across multiple sectors by leveraging technological platforms. It also enables smaller companies to disrupt industries that were historically dominated by larger corporations, leading to competition from outside the sector and geography.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Technology is now accessible to everyone, regardless of their country or economic status.

  • Adoption of technology is happening at an accelerated rate, outpacing previous innovations.

  • The economic aspects of technology, such as its non-rivalry and consumer surplus, have significant implications for industries and users.

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