So to summarize:
Dud technologies: Never reach 10% penetration, are money losers, do not create an industry.
Ballistic technologies: Reach between 30% and 70% penetration but are substituted quickly. They are profitable but only for the duration of their ascent. Generally do not create industries, ecosystems or network effects.
Inertial technologies: Have steady growth but never reach ubiquity. They are bound by frictions which impede their broad adoption but also impede their substitution. They do create industries and network effects but suffer from corrosion and monopoly.
Perpetual technologies: They reach ubiquity, usually quickly and remain there indefinitely. Substituted only by improvements which supersede performance (e.g. Color TV vs. B&W TV). Usually solve a universal problem everybody has. Create disruptive growth and have world-changing effects.
Knowing in advance which category a technology will reach can be very valuable. Not only can investment be directed, but career decisions, education choices and fundamental research can be better allocated.
The question is therefore how to tell early enough where an emergent technology fits in this categorization.”