- A Stage of System Evolution: Synthesis
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- A Stage of System Evolution: Synthesis book
The class of problems typically encountered at the foot of the S curve we will call Synthesis. During this stage of innovation, all the functional elements have to be put together, so that the system as a whole can be capable of providing its new functionality at scale. Before that happens, the chances for user adoption are very low. For example, prior to Edison, the rst electric lighting systems were less reliable and had less utility than the established gas lighting infrastructure. Light bulbs would burn out unexpectedly, and being connected in series, break the ow of current, plunging entire buildings into darkness. Wires could be easily broken and, due to poor insulation, would cause res or inict severe electric shocks on workers and bystanders. In addition to that, steam engines connected to dynamos would produce noise, smoke, and sparks right in the middle of town. Sometimes they would blow up or let off torrents of steam, making residents concerned about the safety of the entire enterprise. Under the circumstances, to replace the good old gas lighting with the newfangled electric light bulbs would be an act of madness.