Brad DeLong has a great, short video commentary on the history of economic progress over the last 2000 years. His summary:
Productivity growth today is a hundred times the proportional rate it was back before 1650. That is perhaps the most astonishing thing about today’s economy, when viewed in historical perspective.
Business Strategy Implications: You can’t run your business today just like you did back in 1650. Nor like even ten years ago. A decade from now, we’ll get about one third more output for a given level of input (capital and labor). If it’s not your business that’s generating the productivity growth, then it’s someone else’s. And your business is dead.