3 Shifts Combining Domains to Produce Something of Value from Quantum Computing

Why “Move Fast and Break Things” Doesn’t Work Anymore

Key points…

+  Shift 1: From A Digital To A Post-Digital Age. It’s hard to imagine that 30 years ago, most American households didn’t have a computer, much less a mobile phone. Yet today, a typical teenager armed with a smartphone has access to more information than a highly trained specialist working at a major institution a generation ago. What’s driven all this advancement has been Moore’s Law, our ability to double the power of our computing technology about every 18 months. Yet now Moore’s Law is approaching theoretical limits and will most likely come to an end in the next decade. New computing architectures, such as quantum and neuromorphic technologies, have great potential to further advancement, but will be far more complex than digital chips. Make no mistake, the transition will not be seamless.

When IBM decided to develop the PC in 1980, they sent a team to Boca Raton to work in secret and launched the product a year later. To develop quantum computing, however, they’ve created a Q Network, which includes several of the National Labs, research universities, potential end users like major banks and manufacturers as well as startups.

+  Shift 2: From Rapid Iteration to Exploration. Over the past 30 years, we’ve had the luxury of working with technologies we understand extremely well. Every generation of microchips opened vast new possibilities, but worked exactly the same way as the last generation, creating minimal switching costs. The main challenge was to design applications.. So it shouldn’t be surprising that rapid iteration emerged as a key strategy. When you understand the fundamental technology that underlies a product or service, you can move quickly, trying out nearly endless permutations until you arrive at an optimized solution. That’s often far more effective than a more planned, deliberate approach.

+  Shift 3: From Hyper-Competition to Mass Collaboration. The competitive environment we’ve become used to has been relatively simple. For each particular industry, there have been distinct ecosystems based on established fields of expertise. Competing firms raced to transform fairly undifferentiated digital inputs (chips, code, components, etc.) into highly differentiated products and services. You needed to move fast to get an edge… This new era, on the other hand, will be one of mass collaboration in which government partners with academia and industry to explore new technologies in the pre-competitive phase. For example, the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research combines the work of five national labs, a few dozen academic institutions, and hundreds of companies to develop advanced batteries.

Source:  Harvard Business Review.  Greg Satell,  Why “Move Fast and Break Things” Doesn’t Work Anymore…

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