Terrestrial infrastructures are built to enable new economic activity, enhance security, and improve the standard of living—all generally referred to as “progress.” The “S-Curve of Progress” is a simple visual way of depicting progress as improvement occurring during a period of time enabling understanding of how all the pieces fit together.
While it can be used to depict progress in many circumstances, e.g., human development and the rise of civilizations, the two applications of interest are new products and infrastructure. In particular, for the latter, the S-curve is useful in portraying the direct and indirect economic growth and wealth creation opportunities that result from building and operating new infrastructure. This is a very important consideration when discussing the benefits of industrializing space resulting from building the enabling spacefaring logistics infrastructure.
The starting point is to understand the basic New Product S-Curve of Progress.