Tag Archives: Limits

Asymptotic Thinking

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusby feather


What if... a single machine could provide all of the goods and services that a country's economy currently produces?   Would human productivity (GDP per labor hour) be infinity ? Who should own the machine? Google? The government? Goldman Sachs? Would the end state look the same if we built such a machine over 100, 50, 10 or 2 years?

This is not rambling, this is "asymptotic thinking" and I believe it is a pre-requisite to good strategic thinking. In calculus it is  

lim_{ p \to \infty} GDP(p)

   where p=human productivity and GDP=Gross Domestic Product.

This thinking is important because we approach limits incrementally from a DIRECTION and in strategy, as well as calculus, the direction matters.  More specifically there can be discontinuities along the path, much like crossing a chasm in product marketing.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinby feather