One of the many memorable bits of Robert Gordon’s The Rise and Fall of American Growth is how rapidly technologies like radio and automobiles diffused throughout the country. But is diffusion speeding up? I won’t try to answer that question. This post is just to clip together some resources related to it.
Finally, I downloaded the Our World in Data dataset, and plotted the years elapsed between the first data point for a given technology, and the year it hit 50% penetration. Lots of caveats apply. Most importantly, the first datapoint isn’t the same thing as when the technology was invented; it’s possible you’d get totally different results with that more meaningful starting point. Nonetheless:
Update: Something similar in Mary Meeker’s 2018 deck: