The Theory of Technology Evolution

The theory described in this book uses the metaphor of Darwin’s evolutionary theory to explain how product technology evolves.

The underlying fundamental human behavior being investigated in technology evolution is how the human brain processes information in the presence of a novel event.

Predicting the direction of technology depends on predicting what humans are going to do when they first see a new, radical product.

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The brain, in this case, is aiming at individual sovereignty, or as biologists may interpret the behavior, individual control over the environment.

There are two different brain processes that are relevant to the theory of technology evolution. One process is in the brain of the owner of the firm, the first time she sees a new product or new production technique.

The other brain process is the consumer, the first time she sees a radical new product for the first time, and tries to imagine how that product may fit into her welfare function.

The brain is acting, in a biological way, as the “searching/ selection” mechanism for the product mutation/innovation process.