S-Curves vs Product Life Cycles As a technology matures, additional research expenditures on that technology begin to produce diminishing returns. This is the familiar S-curve which shows significant performance improvements at the early stages of discovery, then declining as the technology improves. Technology managers must be cognisant of this basic law and commit funding to new technologies as existing ones reach the top of the S-curve. They can determine their position by estimating the limits of a technology early and charting their performance improvements against these limits. Some practical ways of identifying that a technology will give way to a newer one is by observing the emergence of new competitors using different technologies, diffident researchers, disharmony among research staff, and a general lack of "new breakthroughs". Each new product that eventually results from research and invention undergoes a "Life Cycle". The Product Life Cycle is a favorite marketing textbook topic. New products typically undergo an introductory
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