#605 – Surely We Weren’t Wrong, Were We?

Posted on | The Agurban

Surely We Weren’t Wrong, Were We?

Fact checking seems to be in vogue right now, thanks to the unfortunate political season we are in. With that in mind, we decided that we should “fact check” and put some hard statistics to our Agurban last week on The 4th Industrial Revolution.

First we looked at GDP. We wanted to quantify GDP growth and see how the GDP growth trends followed the revolutions. Interestingly, GDP wasn’t a “thing” until the early 1940’s, when it was devised as a way to better define the efficient use of resources for the war effort. Any GDP data from prior to this time was a best estimate/guess by economists.

We did, however, find the Industrial Production Annual Index, which measures real output for all facilities located in the United States manufacturing, mining, and electric, and gas utilities, that went back to 1790. A quick calculation comparing decade-to-decade numbers, showed no significant relationship to the three industrial revolution trends. War seemed to have more of an impact as far as timing.

One final bit of information we learned was that a number of “experts” actually say we are still in the 3rd Industrial Revolution, which really started in the 1990’s, with the explosion of computerization and the dot-coms. What some are considering the 4th Revolution, is simply an extension of the 3rd Revolution.

So…we do believe we are in the midst of many amazing technologies, including 3D printing, advanced robotics, cloud and cyber security, and mobile technology. Regardless of the “revolution”, these technologies will definitely and directly impact manufacturing and the way manufacturers operate. We will continue to be on the lookout!