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Technology S-Curve

Part 5. Product Innovation and Management

  1. Ashish Sood

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444316568.wiem05046

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

How to Cite

Sood, A. 2010. Technology S-Curve. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing. 5.

Author Information

  1. Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


This article encompasses the technology S-curve that describes the phenomenon of technological evolution and suggests that technologies evolve through an initial period of slow growth, followed by one of fast growth culminating in a plateau. The field does not enjoy a single, strong, and unified theory of technological evolution. However, an emerging, and probably the most compelling explanation, revolves around the dynamics of firms and researchers as the technology evolves through the three major stages of the S-curve of technological evolution: introduction, growth, and maturity. Recent empirical findings suggest there is sparse support for the theory. In contrast to the dominant view in the literature, the path of technological evolution does not resemble an S-curve. On the contrary, the path of technological evolution follow a series of irregular step functions better approximated with multiple S-curves than with a single S-curve.


  • technological evolution;
  • S-curves;
  • radical innovation;
  • self-fulfilling prophecy;
  • innovation