Well, 30 years is more like a rule of thumb than a physical law, sometimes it takes longer sometimes shorter. It also somewhat depends on how you define the discovery and the impact. In any case, we’re talking decades, not years or months.

But to answer your question, no, I don’t see evidence that it’s speeding up significantly. AI took way more than 30 years. Quantum computing will take at least 30 (probably 35). Genetic engineering has taken at least 30 and, I think you can argue, we don’t have real impact yet (although we’re getting really, really, close).

So it seems to be holding steady, but then again, the breakthroughs these days are far, far more complex and interdisciplinary than they were in past generations.

Written by

Bestselling Author of Cascades and Mapping Innovation, @HBR Contributor, - Learn more at www.GregSatell.com — note: I use Amazon Affiliate links for books.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store