Bleeding edge technology

From Wikipedia

Bleeding edge technology is a category of technologies so new that they could have a high risk of being unreliable and lead adopters to incur greater expense in order to make use of them. [1] [2] The term bleeding edge was formed as an allusion to the similar terms "leading edge" and " cutting edge". It tends to imply even greater advancement, albeit at an increased risk because of the unreliability of the software or hardware. [3] The first documented example of this term being used dates to early 1983, when an unnamed banking executive was quoted to have used it in reference to Storage Technology Corporation. [4]

A proportion of bleeding edge technology makes it into the mainstream. For example, electronic mail (email) was once considered to be bleeding edge. [5]


A technology may be considered bleeding edge where it contains a degree of risk, or, more generally, there is a significant downside to early adoption, such as:

  • Lack of consensus – competing ways of doing new things exist and there is little to no indication in which direction the market will go.[ citation needed] By its very nature, consumers and firms will be unfamiliar with the product and its relationship to existing technologies, [2] leading to rapid changes in what is considered best practice as more becomes known about the technology's qualities. [3]
  • Lack of testing – the technology may be unreliable, [2] or simply untested. [3]
  • Industry resistance to change – trade journals and industry leaders have spoken against a new technology or product but some organizations are trying to implement it anyway because they are convinced it is technically superior.[ citation needed]

Costs and benefits

The rewards for successful early adoption of new technologies can be great in terms of establishing a comparative advantage in otherwise competitive markets; [2] unfortunately, the penalties for "betting on the wrong horse" (e.g. in a format war) or choosing the wrong product are equally large. Whenever an organization decides to take a chance on bleeding edge technology there is a chance that they will be stuck with a white elephant or worse.

Bleeding edge computer software, especially open-source software, is especially common. Indeed, it is usual practice for open-source developers to release new, bleeding edge versions of their software fairly frequently, sometimes in a rather unpolished state to allow others to review, test, and, in many cases, contribute to it ( beta testing). Therefore, users who want features that have not been implemented in older, more stable releases of the software are able to choose the bleeding-edge version. In such cases, the user is willing to sacrifice stability, reliability, or ease of use for the sake of increased functionality. [6]

See also


  1. ^ "bleeding edge. (n.d.)". Unabridged. Random House. Retrieved 12 September 2008. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter ( link)
  2. ^ a b c d Effy Oz (2008). Management Information Systems. Cengage Learning. p. 65. ISBN  978-1-4239-0178-5.
  3. ^ a b c Ingo Schommer; Steven Broschart (2010). SilverStripe: The Complete Guide to CMS Development. John Wiley & Sons. p. 22. ISBN  978-0-470-68270-8.
  4. ^ Hayes, Thomas C. (21 March 1983). "Hope at Storage Technology". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 September 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter ( link)
  5. ^ Infosystems. Hitchcock Pub. Co. 1977. p. 64.
  6. ^ Rikishi, Niramiai (December 2000). "Selling in the Bazaar: How Open Source Manages Code". AAUGN. AUUG, Inc.: 41. Retrieved 9 November 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter ( link)

External links

  • The dictionary definition of bleeding edge at Wiktionary'
  • Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup - a nonfiction book by journalist John Carreyrou, 5/21/2018, about the rise and fall of the firm Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech fraud startup headed by Elizabeth Holmes. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup