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SNS: Enablers and Vectors: Accelerating Innovation Deployment

SNS: Enablers and Vectors: Accelerating Innovation Deployment


In This Issue
Week of 3/13/2017    
Vol. 22 Issue 11

FEATURE: Enablers and Vectors: Accelerating Innovation Deployment

  • Going Without: The Slog
  • Enablers
  • Vectors
  • Double Duty
  • Unicorns
  • The Speed of Returns
  • Gutenberg Saves the Planet

Quotes of the Week

Takeout Window

  • Countries by P/E: If Countries Were Stocks….
  • Yale Climate Opinion Maps – US 2016
  • Japan in the South China Sea


  • The Country Behind the Conference Curtain



The two most important (and overused) words in Silicon Valley are “innovation” and “disruption.” In the next two issues of the SNS Global Report, we’re going to explore the forces behind them.

In this week’s discussion, we’ll go deeper on the return on investment for invention, based not on total ROI, but on how quickly those revenues are realized. And in our next GR, we’ll pull out the frauds and tricks behind the innovation economy and the darker side of profitless disruptions.
When we look at the major successes in technology over the last few decades, it turns out that there is a new way of examining them: speed. Most of us know the wisdom that it takes 20 to 30 years for a new technology paradigm to become an overnight success. The Internet, for example, comes to mind.

And yet there are other tech successes that, by building on existing trends, platforms, standards, and other “helpers,” gain acceptance and provide returns very quickly. What separates these two categories of slow versus fast returns? I’ve grouped them into two major categories: Enablers and Vectors.

What are they?

For the purposes of our discussion, I’ll define Enablers as technologies or human behaviors that enable new products: they help something to happen.

Vectors, on the other hand, are platforms: things happen on top of them.

The human interest in watching sex acts, whether or not politically correct, enabled the rapid development and uptake of video technology in the 1970s and ’80s, moving over time from tape to DVDs. Later, the establishment of this video-player platform in every home served as a vector allowing the “overnight” success of Netflix.


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