When I got my first MP3 player during Christmas of 2003 it was $119 (marked down to $99), held 128MB (roughly 32 songs) and had no functions other than storing MP3s and an FM transmitter.
In summer of 2008 I bought a 4GB model with a 2GB expansion card for $50. It had a video function so I could watch movies on a tiny screen.
So in the course of 4.5 years the capacity and price changed dramatically.
Once wind power became comparable with coal at about 4 cents a kwh, wind investments took off. However other wind technologies like low velocity turbines, high altitude turbines and vertical turbines claim they can produce energy for even less, around 2 cents a kwh. A company called kitegen claims when they get off they ground, wind power of 1/10 a penny per kwh is possible.
So why invest in a new technology if you know that it is going to take 5 years and hundreds of millions in capital to bring your product to market, and by then it is going to be obsolete or too inefficient to make a profit? Even if it takes your competitors another 5 years, that still leaves a very narrow window to recoup your investments and make a profit.
If concept A is obsolete within 3 years, that means there is technically only a 3 year window to recoup losses on bringing that product to market. After those 3 years the new product will be on the market and make yours obsolete.
Blu rays are starting to replace DVDs, which have only existed in the mainstream for 10 years. That is still a large window (10 years), but it seems the windows are shortening. A technology becomes obsolete or too slow within a few years of release. Blu Rays will likely be replaced by holographic DVDs in a few years.
So what happens to the incentives of capital to invest in all these groundbreaking advances to bring products to market? Do they lose interest and see everything as too short lived to make a return and a profit? Has this already started happening? Will it get worse over the next 100 years as advances come quicker and quicker?
With information technologies, advances come quickly. But so do advances in energy and medical technology. So it seems they may have the same problems.