(June 01, 2009) If you’ve been following along, there’s a gentle undercurrent about Disruption in my writing these days. The ravages of Moore’s Law ultimately find their way into every pocket of our culture.
Moore’s law describes a long-term trend in the history of computing hardware. Since the invention of the integrated circuit in 1958, the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit has increased exponentially, doubling approximately every two years. The trend was first observed by Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore in a 1965 paper] It has continued for almost half a century and in 2005 was not expected to stop for another decade at least
Almost every measure of the capabilities of digital electronic devices is strongly linked to Moore’s law: processing speed, memory capacity, sensors and even the number and size of pixels in digital cameras. All of these are improving at (roughly) exponential rates as well. This has dramatically increased the usefulness of digital electronics in nearly every segment of the world economy. Moore’s law describes this driving force of technological and social change in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
The consequences of Moore’s Law are everywhere. Major industries, from electronics design to banking have been reshaped by the combination of Moore’s Law and the expansion of digital communications. Advertising, news and the rest of the old industrial media are reeling from the impact. There is virtually nothing left.
Disruption is what happens when Moore’s Law meets your world.
You’ve seen it and you now the symptoms. First, the seasoned folks all swear that their business simply can’t be digitized. Then the digitization starts in earnest. New players emerge, like Apple in music or Google in news and advertising. Whole new approaches to doing the same old thing arrive.
Take a moment and think about the news industry. For nearly a century, owning a newspaper was reactions a license to print money. When the disruption came, the incumbents simply couldn’t figure out what to do. Those country club memberships and six figure salaries were absolutely necessary (to everyone but the disruptors). Imagine what it’s like to watch your world crumble while you’re unable to save it.
That’s what’s coming to HR and Recruiting.
How do you think it will get here?
One thing is for sure. Anything that resembles conventional wisdom is out the window.