In the early 20th Century, Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr engaged in a series of debates that would determine the future of physics. Yet virtually nobody outside the physics community took much notice. The true impact of what they were discussing wouldn’t be clear till a half century later. Eventually, engineers began to understand enough of what Einstein and Bohr were talking about to create some basic components, such as the transistor and the microchip; and those innovations led to the information age that unleashed a boom in productivity during the 1990’s.
The story encapsulates just how convoluted the path to productivity often is. Discoveries of mysterious phenomena must be engineered into innovative solutions, a process that can take decades. Then those solutions must be adopted by industry, which can take decades more. Clearly, we need to better connect the realms of discovery, innovation and transformation !