How a Tech Co-founder’s Prediction Turned Out to be Right for 55 Years?
And what are the learnings you can get out of it?
Being right about a tech trend may retain a billions of dollars worth of opportunity.
You may build a tech empire around an accurate prediction in today’s tech world. You may also join a team with a common goal to make a real difference or invest your money in the right founder to leverage a shared vision.
In all these ways, being right even once may create a life-changing opportunity.
Now imagine being right for 55 consecutive years!
Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel, was not only right, but he has also put his money and effort into where his mouth was.
A little about Gordon Moore
Moore was a remarkable man even before co-founding Intel.
He got his bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley. He then earned a doctorate in physical chemistry at the California Institute of Technology in 1954.
Moore entered the semiconductors business right after getting his Ph.D. at the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University in Maryland.
First, in Shockley Semiconductor, then in Fairchild Semiconductor, he made remarkable contributions to the industry.
Back in 1965, Gordon Moore predicted that the number of transistors on a computer chip would double every year. It was first published in Electronics magazine.
Initially, when the semiconductor business was giving birth to a bright future, the rate in his prediction served him well. He revisited his hypothesis only once, and in 1975, he modified the expected rate to double every two years, which was fairly accurate for a long while.
Another aspect of Moore’s law is that the growth of microprocessors is exponential, which also turned out to be a quite accurate prediction.
A benchmark for the industry
Gordon Moore has not only made an accurate prediction, but he has created a self-fulfilling prophecy for the industry.
The standard to double the number of transistors every two years have set a benchmark for the companies to plan their future innovations with this target in mind.
Especially Intel has followed this target like a biblical verse, as long as possible.
Is Moore’s Law Still Valid?
The high temperatures of transistors is a deal-breaker to create smaller circuits. So, it’s not possible to maintain the rate in Moore’s prediction after some point.
Although some players in the industry still believe that Moore’s law is still alive and kicking, the objections to the claim get louder every day.
In 2019, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang declared Moore’s Law as dead.
He may be right when directly looking at today’s growth rate in the number of transistors in computers, tablets, and smartphone chips.
Even Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced that the doubling rate was down to once every two and a half years in 2015.
However, the opposing views trust that quantum computing’s future impact may open new doors to bring the pace back.
Why today’s predictions don’t live as long?
It’s not 1965 anymore. The exponential growth in the tech industry has shortened the lifetime of accurate predictions significantly.
Every year, unprecedented radical innovations come to light to claim a paradigm shift. In the following couple of years, one other claims the throne and declares the past rulers irrelevant.
If we talk in semi-conductor industry-specific, the breakthroughs in quantum computing, bio-engineering, etc. have enriched the possibilities of processing so much; a new prediction is lucky to survive half a decade, leave alone half a century.
The other tech-driven industries are no exception. With the exciting tech trends like the Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, CRISPR, Nanomaterials, Solid State Batteries, etc. the world got quite complicated. We even rely on another tech trend, Artificial Intelligence (AI), to forecast the future direction.
Although the lifespan of predictions got shorter, the time to reach astronomical returns on investment got shorter as well. Each tech revolution reaches to masses faster than one before.
The speed of communication with the internet and social platforms boosted the rapidness of reaching people worldwide.
How to benefit from a solid prediction?
When Gordon Moore has made his prediction (he was not calling it Moore’s Law back then), he put his vision in place by co-founding Intel and making sure that his processors doubled the number of transistors in Intel’s chips in every two years. He has invested time and effort into his idea.
An idea by itself worths nothing unless it’s executed.
This doesn’t mean ‘start a business for every idea that comes to your mind’. Yet, if you have faith in a revolutionary idea or you have a bold prediction that a certain industry will play a major role in building our future, don’t be afraid to build on your idea.
Some people think better of new ideas; another may have certain skills to start something new. One other may be the best executive to pick up an idea from a start-up/scale-up level to a worldwide phenomenon.
Collaborate, contribute, and invest time and money in it.
Gordon Moore was a brilliant man who could leverage his knowledge within the semiconductor industry to make a prediction that lasted more than half a century. He was also brave enough to build on his idea, invest his time and money in his idea to shape the future of the semiconductor industry and the whole tech world in a way.
In today’s world, the tech landscape changes so fast that making accurate predictions for even a few years provides significant leverage. Yet, betting on the right idea pays out a lot faster than it was in 1965.
There are different ways to benefit from an accurate prediction.
- One of them is to found a business and build a product based on your idea.
- The second one is to make direct contributions to building a product that is in line with your expectations by being part of a team, company, or organization that magnifies your impact and exposure.
- Another one is to invest in a start-up founder who will share your vision and is expected to execute well.
The pace of change in our world remains to be accelerating exponentially. It’s never late to be part of another paradigm shift.
If you believe in something that will change the world, don’t be afraid to make a difference and act on it!
This article is originally published on Medium.
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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational or educational purposes only and is not any form of individualized advice. Use this information at your own risk.