What’s Your Moore’s Law?
As an economic developer consider a pivot in what you do
In 2016 I was fortunate enough to attend a semiconductor industry symposium. This symposium was held on an annual basis to provide industry leaders with information regarding the state of the industry and more importantly, the future. What they saw was not good. In fact some were wondering what and where will the industry turn.
Why the worry? It seems that Moore’s law had run its course. Moore’s Law said the number of transistors on a microchip doubles every two years, though the cost of computers is halved. It turns out that infinity does have an end point as all exponential laws do. It looks like Moore’s law had simply run up against the wall of physics. To create smaller circuits the transistors have to be able to cool off at a faster rate than the energy it takes to power and that has become physically impossible. Moore’s law drove the industry for years. Now what?
But Dr. Gary Patton, formerly the CTO at GLOBALFOUNDRIES now the Corporate Vice President at Intel said in a keynote presentation that there were five things driving the growth of the industry in the absence of Moore’s Law. These drivers would power the industry and it wouldn’t necessarily be smaller and smaller circuitry. In fact production could be driven by growth and demand in these areas:
- Autonomous transportation
2. The 5G network
3. Artificial Intelligence
4. Big data and predictive analytics
5. The Internet of Things (“IoT”)
What does this have to do with economic development or the management and development of cities? Why, it has everything to do with these topics. Recognition of these drivers may seem to be unrelated esoteric topics regarding cities but they will be the drivers of a new economy. As an economic developer or city manager or elected official these are the trends filled with opportunity:
Autonomous transportation will change the insurance and auto industry. Are you sure recruiting back office business transaction processors and mainline automobile manufacturers is the thing you want to do?
Artificial intelligence will eliminate jobs in many “Broker” industries. The ability of smart machine learning will change how decisions are made about stock purchases, where you live, the decisions you make on a daily basis.
If you are an economic developer note that patterns of ownership are changing, pandemics are with us for the foreseeable future and the cities and regions that are prepared as “smart cities” will thrive. Because the places that people will want to work, live and thrive are the cities that have invested in non-traditional infrastructure.
In order to be successful in the game of economic infrastructure building and acquisition (my new fancy phrase for economic development) communities must find a new driver to fuel their economies. Just like the semiconductor industry has based their growth on a new set of drivers, maybe it’s time for cities and regions to do the same. Transactional economic development time has come.
Consider growth economics.Consider the use of pattern recognition and scenario building to drive your community to growth and economic prosperity. I know this sounds a bit dreamy, but bear with me as I continue to weave these ideas together over the next several weeks and months in these postings.
What drives you? What drives your community? What is your Moore’s Law?