Reverse salients

Nicholas Carr puts  it very well

“One of the best ways to think about how such systems progress is through the idea of “reverse salients.” The great technology historian Thomas P. Hughes introduced the phrase, in the context of technological innovation, is his book on the development of electric power systems,Networks of Power. He borrowed the term from military jargon, where it referred to a section of an advancing force that falls behind the front and hence slows the progress of the attack. Technological systems, he showed, advance in a similar way. Progress is held up when a reverse salient forms in some component or subsystem, but then begins again when the problem is solved – until the next reverse salient forms.”

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