New Layers of Innovation Become Foundational Infrastructure

Roads, phone lines, the electric grid: each of these components of modern life, which we take for granted, together with uncountable interlocking parts, have once been innovations at the edges. Innovations, that were little more than experiments, blossomed, peaked, and then faded into the background, without losing importance, but stopping from being the focus of attention.

Universal adoption of a tool or a service guarantees widespread value to be generated, and it also makes it so that nobody has a specific differentiating advantage using it.

Mainframes still exist

In the computer industry mainframe computers made by IBM were dominating and newsworthy. Do you read about mainframes these days at all? Are they in the news any day? Mainframes still exist, they just don’t matter anymore, in the eyes of those who want to innovate at the edges of technology, and create new layers of value.

The transformation of the pillars of the Nation State will shift the focus of attention and innovation away from centralized systems. It will not eliminate the infrastructures that deliver value to everybody, as much as make them less relevant, taken for granted but not newsworthy.