If you don’t know what this is, you need to know it. Really.
Whether you’re in the technology markets, or raising grass-fed beef cow in a pasture, you need to understand the implications of this simple but powerful factor that affects what we drive, what we eat and how we live.
Gordon Moore, a kind and razor-sharp engineer published a paper in 1965 describing that integrated circuits had doubled in density every year since 1958. “Density” in this context meant the number of components in the circuit, essentially its “capacity”.
The “Law” has stood up to the test of time, and 55 years later it has been generalized for processing speed in computers, the amount of memory in computers and consumer devices such as phones, and the number of pixels (“sharpness”) in digital cameras.
Even Moore does not believe that the exponential nature of capacity will continue to grow, and eventually it must slow. Although he has been quoted widely on this, including recently, it hasn’t yet stopped. This is why your iPhone from last year has already been superseded by a superior model, before your 2-year contract is up.
The salient point for us is that product development, providing services, and even the basics of transporting grass-fed beef cow to market, will be dramatically affected by the constant improvement and expanded capacity of computers. Our markets and cost assumptions are, by definition, a moving target.
For more on the Law, and its implications read the Wikipedia entry.
By the way, I had the great pride to work with Dr. Moore at Intel, although “work with” is a generous interpretation. He agreed to attend a few meetings with key customers that I hosted, and was gracious, self-deprecating, and very smart. A superior individual.