The technological/diffusion S-curve has been researched and written about many times (and in a lot more depth – see this, this and this for more definitive treatments of this topic), but the author here provides an entertaining and quick summary of the concept with several interesting, historical examples.
The fact that the author is pointing out is that
“a technology often produces its best results just when it’s ready to be replaced – it’s the best it’s ever been, but it’s also the best it could ever be. … Everything has been optimised and worked out and understood, and they’re fast, cheap and reliable. That’s also often the point that a new architecture comes to replace them.”
Two examples are the jet taking over from the propeller and the steamship taking over from the sailing ship (and it is amusing to see what an ‘optimized’ prop plane looked like). A nice quick summary of the basic principle but it would have been good for the author to provide some credit to all those who have studied and written about this topic before him.