Thinking back to various hardware launch events, they used to be huge deals. It was only 15 years ago that the iPhone came out and it was a revolution. For five years on, the excitement continued. Then for five years after, it started to wane.
Revolutionary-style devices still came out, the Apple Watch, Google Glasses, the Amazon Echo (and the Ubi of course), but ten years after and it seemed like improvements were of smaller and smaller increments. The iPhone X vs the iPhone 14? The Samsung S8 vs the S22?
What it means when we see diminishing improvements is that we reached product category maturity. When there are still surprising and large improvements, the product category is still maturing. Generative AI is in this stage. Within a few years, when we see indistinguishable realism in generated AI, we’ll know the category is also mature.
For technology wave riding, it’s worth looking for the things that see large improvements over short periods. The first doubling in accuracy, speed, features, etc. is a sign the wave is growing.