Moore’s Law Is Just A Collective Goal

Whilst reading through Dan Wang’s Review of 2018 post, I was struck by the following point that he makes about Moore’s Law:

“Moore’s Law is not some natural law built into the fabric of the universe, designed to self-execute without a bit of engineering effort. Instead, it’s a massive industrial undertaking to push forward this technological frontier.”

“The semiconductor industry set a benchmark for improvement early on, one that seems kind of arbitrary today, and made a collective effort to execute against it. Semiconductor companies—the leaders of which are TSMC, Intel, and Samsung—adopted Moore’s Law as an industry goal. The rate of progress seems to have gotten slower and more expensive, but it’s remarkable that Moore’s Law has held up for decades.”

In other words, the fact that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles every 18 to 24 months is generally known. But it’s a norm that only exists because of a combination of a collective goal that focuses many people’s minds on a tough problem in order to achieve that outcome not only once but repeatedly over many years.

In other words, it’s an example of a story that binds and empowers a huge collective group of people of a similar interest to move forwards. In some sense, it’s similar in that way to a religion. Or a football team.

It’s part of the reason why negative self talk is so badly damaging. Stories matter.

Never say anything about yourself that you don’t want to come true.

(Brian Tracey)