Technomics: The Theory of Industrial Evolution, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover


The Theory of Industrial Evolution, 1st Edition

By H. Lee Martin

CRC Press

256 pages | 38 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2006-09-18
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Have you ever wondered about the forces behind globalization, mass customization, just in time delivery, virtual companies, and perfect information? Providing a platform to understand and navigate our rapidly advancing world, Techonomics: The Theory of Industrial Evolution explains the relationship between technology, economy, and organizations. Successful entrepreneur and prolific inventor Dr. H. Lee Martin shares a technologist’s marketplace insights gained from a 15-year journey from the garage to the public market.

Martin examines four foundations of healthy organizations: energy, communication, computation, and community. He then elucidates a method of tracking market progress, based on measuring both technology performance and economic cost, which provides a tool to consistently monitor advancement of any endeavor. The book looks at three contemporary trends based on electronic advancement, network expansion, and increasing productivity that are forcefully driving organizations in the 21st century. It explains examples of successful companies utilizing emerging operational business models.

Adam Smith’s laws of supply and demand are challenged daily by a world productive capacity that can overproduce manufactured goods and create infinite supplies of information. Providing examples of the value of e-commerce to business operations, Technomics delineates how to measure, compare, and maximize trends in key processes. It demonstrates how, in the dawning Virtual Age, organizations that effectively use ALL resources will continually increase productivity, and those that don’t will fall behind.


“…For a competitive advantage, this book is a must read for any 21st century manager.”

— John S. Hendricks, Founder and Chairman, Discovery Communications, Inc.

“… an excellent job creating a framework to look at and understand this new world and predict the future that it holds.”

— Patrick P. Gelsinger, Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, Intel Corporation

“… If you liked Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat, you’ll love this book.”

— William F. Ford, PhD., former CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

“A must read as you contemplate the future of technology development in a ‘Flat World’”.

— Promod Haque, Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist

"…a fresh new insight to the interplay between technology and competition in this revolution."

— David Coffey, Owner, Security Services Network, Inc., 5-time Inc. 500 Award-Winning Entrepreneur

“Lee Martin’s unique background which combines tremendous technology knowledge with a common sense business approach has allowed him to explain in everyday terms the significant relationship between business, technology and organizational structure.”

— Jimmy Haslam, President, Pilot Travel Centers, USA

“A must read for all managers from the first level to the CEO. A definite must read for all U.S. Representatives and Senators…”

— Richard Davies, Vice President of North American Manufacturing (retired), Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

“…the principles of Techonomics will give you and your company or organization a competitive advantage. …The wise reader will put them to use immediately.”

— Bill Baxter, Chairman of the Board, Tennessee Valley Authority

“… argues convincingly that technology is the driving force behind organizational change. …Entrepreneurs and others will do well to embrace the concept of Techonomics.”

— Dr. Loren W. Crabtree, Chancellor, University of Tennessee

“… helpful in understanding the increasing complexity and changing dynamics of today’s global economic playing field.”

— Frederick H. Forster, Major General (retired), Tennessee Air National Guard

“…thought-provoking analytical techniques and metrics to improve both our organizations and our futures.”

— James D. Froula, Executive Director, Tau Beta Pi Association

Table of Contents

A Techonomic Primer

Introduction to Techonomics


Goal of this Book

From Biology to Business

Techonomics: The Definition

Fundamental Assumptions

A Leading Indicator: The Military




Seeing the World through Transactions

Story of Ronald Coase

Transaction Cost Analysis: The Make-or-Buy Decision

Hidden Transaction Costs

The Importance of “Perfect Information”

Defining Techonomic Metrics

Techonomic Metric Process




A Techonomic Perspective of History

Organizational Evolution Resulting from Technological Advancement: A Timeline


A Timeline of Technology

The Four-Square Principle: Organisms/Individuals

The Four-Square Principle: Organizations/Society




Creating Techonomic Metrics


The Techonomic Sweetspot

An Example: Digital Photography Techonomic Metric

Military: Technology Advance without Economic Constraint

Energy: Side 1 of the Organizational Square

Computation: Side 2 of the Organizational Square

Communications: Side 3 of the Organizational Square

Community: Side 4 of the Organizational Square

Reflections on Interdependence




Techonomics at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century

The First Three Laws of Twenty-First-Century Techonomics


Moore’s Law: Ubiquitous Computing

Metcalfe’s Law: Ubiquitous Global Network

Coase-Downes-Mui Law: Diminishing Organization Size

The Franchise Effect: Growth through Replication




Emerging Twenty-First-Century Techonomic Business Models


Positive Cash-Flow Manufacturing: Dell

Positive Cash-Flow Retail Distribution: Wal-Mart

Debtless Facility Expansion: Walgreens

Predictable Antiquation: Intel

Business at the Speed of Light: Microsoft

Virtual Retail: Amazon

Virtual Reselling: eBay

Virtual Media: Apple

Emerging Techonomic Conclusions




Emerging Techonomic Trends


Energy: Journey to Renewable Energy Resources

Computation: All Things Digital

Communications: Expanding Control and Influence

Community: Increasing Efficiency from Specialization Yields




Post-Industrial Challenges and Techonomic Answers

Techonomic Market Crises and Recommendations

Techonomics Natural Selection Mechanism: Competition

Energy: Economic Reason or Ruin

Healthcare: Inverted Techonomics and Its Implications

Education: Techonomics of Monopoly

Government: Techonomic Effect in Macroeconomics




The Techonomic Future

Expanding the Boundaries

Vanishing into the Virtual

From Adam Smith to Techonomics

The Techonomic Worldview





Appendix 1: Terminology Related to Techonomics

Appendix 2: Example of Process for Developing a Techonomic Metric Index

About the Series

Systems Innovation Book Series

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Project Management
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Engineering (General)
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Engineering