Are you still mining for nuggets?

Moore’s law is the observation that over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years
Wikipedia.

Would you like to predict the future of OSS? Sounds like a tough ask right? Where would you start?

Personally, I’d start by looking at proven trends of exponential growth like Moore’s Law and extrapolating. Examples are on the Wikipedia link above, including the rate of increase of:

  1. Hard disk storage cost per unit of information
  2. Hard disk capacity is roughly similar to the rate of increase in transistor count
  3. Network capacity
  4. Pixels per dollar (cameras and monitors)
  5. Library expansion
  6. DNA sequencing technologies (measured by cost and performance)

So, eight years from now storages costs will have reduced by 16 times per MB, network capacity will have increased by 16 times, each pixel in a screen or camera will have reduced in value by 16 times and the time taken to sequence DNA will have reduced by 16 times…. all roughly. This points towards a deluge of information coming our way.

Now, by correlation this allows us to predict the future networks and associated infrastructure that our OSS will need to oversee.

Unfortunately the human brain isn’t increasing its processing and storage rate at the same rate as our inventions. So it will be exponentially more important in the future for our OSS to perform the task of filtering and prioritising network data.

To use an analogy, the first prospectors during a gold rush found nuggets. Nuggets became rarer so miners developed techniques for finding gold dust. Then the visible dust becomes rarer so miners developed techniques for extracting microscopic gold particles using chemical processes.

The OSS tools and processes that were designed to find nuggets of information are now less relevant. The value is now in the ability to separate the grains of valuable information from great volumes a data. Soon it will be the ability to move mountains of information to find all the minute particles.

Does this sound like a custom fit for big data and advanced data analytics to you? How will you combine millions of minute particles of information into your pot of gold?

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