For the past 20 or 30 years, innovation, especially in the digital space, has been fairly straightforward. We could rely on technology to improve at a foreseeable pace. That led most innovation efforts to be focused on applications, with a heavy emphasis on the end user. Startups that were able to design an experience, test it, adapt and iterate quickly could outperform large enterprises. Yet in the years to come the pendulum is likely to swing from applications back to the fundamental technologies that make them possible. Rather than being able to rely on trusty old paradigms, we’ll largely be operating in the realm of the unknown.