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Industrial Age to Tech Age, The Changes and The Cycle of Innovation (infographic)

The ages of the world have often been the witness of the capabilities of man. The rise of the human race that started from Great Britain in 1785 also known as the Industrial age gave rise to a different socio-economic perspective of work where capital that included power run tools started to show its grip over the traditional manual labor. This time of around 100 years encapsulated developments above and beyond what was considered custom at the time. This rise was marked by the first cotton mill established in Britain and the world fell into its first cycle of technological innovation since then.

The first cycle that encompasses a time period of 60 years included major developments in the textile sector along with upgrades in terms of power and diesel. This first cycle and the rest of the 5 major cycles of innovation are backed by Joseph Schumpeter’s theory of creative destruction. Unlike the name that suggests a step into chaos, Joseph’s work revolved around the practices and business cycles that were present to him in 1942 at the time of the inception of this theory.

Joseph highlighted that as market structures changed or there were significant developments in the industry, it would exit one wave of innovation to enter into the second wave of innovation. These waves are subjected to a change so great that it disrupts the market and after the first change in the Industrial age in 1785, the second one came around in 1845 with the advent of railways at the forefront of the cycle that changed not only the demographics of the entire world but introduced a mode of transport that would still be relevant with updates in today’s age.

Since 1900, the third wave came between 50 years in 1900 which was marked by the introduction of electricity to power up homes, along with internal combustion engines that revolutionized trains and brought forth motor vehicles to the public with the assistance of the assembly line introduced by Henry Ford. After that, the fourth wave was sooner to approach within 40 years from 1950 that had the launch of the aviation industry followed by a growth in electronics and computer machinery that introduced the Commodore 64 amongst many. This era also marked an upgrade in the automotive industry as there was a movement from charcoal-based engines to petrochemical-based engines.

The most recent wave, marked as the fifth wave of innovation spread itself over 30 years marking itself as the quickest and most significant wave with the advent of mobile phones and a huge turnover in terms of light-years that are being achieved in technology marked this time as the fastest. However, the next and 6th cycle has started and is on the path with Artificial Intelligence, Clean Technology, and Robotics leading the way to be the quickest wave with the seventh wave expected to hit in 2045. We are excited to see what awaits us in the seventh wave. Take a look at below infographic from VC, for more insights.


Read next: Apple, Google, Amazon: These are the most innovative companies over time

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