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Innovation on the Web: the end of the S-curve?

Innovation on the Web: the end of the S-curve?
Innovation on the Web: the end of the S-curve?
Rigorous research into the historical past of Web technology driven innovation becomes timely as technological growth and forecasting are attracting popular interest. Drawing on economic and management literature relating to the typical trends of technological innovation, we examine the long-term development of Web technology in a theoretically informed and empirical manner.

An original longitudinal dataset of 20,493 Web-related US patents is used to trace the growth curve of Web technology between the years of 1990 through 2013. We find that the accumulation of corporate Web inventions followed an S-shaped curve which shifted to linear growth after year 2004. This transition is unusual in relation to the traditional S-curve model of technological development that typically approaches a limit. The point of inflection on the S-curve coincided reasonably closely with th timing of the dot-com crash in year 2000. Moreover, we find a complex bi-directional relationship between patenting rates in Web technology and movements in the NASDAQ composite stock index. The implications of these results are discussed in theoretical and practical terms for sustained technological growth. Specific recommendations for different stakeholders in commercial Web development are included.
Web technology, innovation, technological revolutions, patents, empirical measurement
Priestley, Maria
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Sluckin, T.J.
8dbb6b08-7034-4ae2-aa65-6b80072202f6
Tiropanis, Thanassis
d06654bd-5513-407b-9acd-6f9b9c5009d8
Priestley, Maria
e1ee95f7-4430-4d06-8964-7afc6333d87f
Sluckin, T.J.
8dbb6b08-7034-4ae2-aa65-6b80072202f6
Tiropanis, Thanassis
d06654bd-5513-407b-9acd-6f9b9c5009d8

Priestley, Maria, Sluckin, T.J. and Tiropanis, Thanassis (2020) Innovation on the Web: the end of the S-curve? Internet Histories. (doi:10.1080/24701475.2020.1747261).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Rigorous research into the historical past of Web technology driven innovation becomes timely as technological growth and forecasting are attracting popular interest. Drawing on economic and management literature relating to the typical trends of technological innovation, we examine the long-term development of Web technology in a theoretically informed and empirical manner.

An original longitudinal dataset of 20,493 Web-related US patents is used to trace the growth curve of Web technology between the years of 1990 through 2013. We find that the accumulation of corporate Web inventions followed an S-shaped curve which shifted to linear growth after year 2004. This transition is unusual in relation to the traditional S-curve model of technological development that typically approaches a limit. The point of inflection on the S-curve coincided reasonably closely with th timing of the dot-com crash in year 2000. Moreover, we find a complex bi-directional relationship between patenting rates in Web technology and movements in the NASDAQ composite stock index. The implications of these results are discussed in theoretical and practical terms for sustained technological growth. Specific recommendations for different stakeholders in commercial Web development are included.

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Accepted/In Press date: 23 March 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 11 April 2020
Keywords: Web technology, innovation, technological revolutions, patents, empirical measurement

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 439144
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/439144
PURE UUID: b40980d3-1fa7-4b34-b402-af25b3d3f662
ORCID for T.J. Sluckin: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9163-0061
ORCID for Thanassis Tiropanis: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6195-2852

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 06 Apr 2020 16:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 01:57

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