An example of sustaining technologies

Ironically I read David’s comment on my managment gurus post last week, which mentioned a workers’ cooperative, just as I was waiting for the British middle classes’ favourite workers’ cooperative to deliver a new washing machine.  It’s actually a significant contrast with (say) getting a new laptop: this one replaces an equivalent machine that stopped working once it was 10+ years old and is functionally almost identical; the new one has a couple of extra programmes, one of which is actually useful to me, as it’s a superfast programme, though in practice, like most broadband connections, it isn’t quite as fast as it should be in theory.

But of course there have been significant advances in washing machine technology, most of them to do with using less water and less electricity.  This is an example of sustaining technology – the opposite of disruptive technology – where there can be major innovations but the effect is a steady and gradual improvement in a product.


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