Description: Up through the mid-1970s, most consumer electronics products were built with these devices called vacuum tubes. They’re about the size of a child’s fist.
Date: Oct 28, 2011
A TV had about 20 vacuum tubes inside of it. And as a consequence, the TVs of the time had to sit on, stand on the floor. They’re about this tall. Cost about $4,000 in today’s money. So only families that had big homes and big bank accounts could own TVs. The transistor was disruptive relative to the vacuum tube, because when it emerged it couldn’t handle the high power that was required to be used in one of these big floor-standing TVs. Or the radios of the time sat on the, the, uh, credenza in the dining room.
Every one of the vacuum tube companies, and these are the giants of the electronics industry, RCA, the Radio Corporation of America, Zenith, Westinghouse, Motorola, Philco, they all took a license to the technology, and they carried the license into their own laboratories and framed it as a technological problem. In other words, the transistor just can’t handle the power required to be used in the market. Read the Rest of Story
Questions for discussion:
- Why are transistors considered a disruptive technology??
2. What do feel are some other disruptive technologies?