Transportation Deployment Casebook/2018/The Telegraph life-cycle

Transportation Deployment Casebook | 2018

The US telegraph system



When comparing the S-curve to the actual data collected, it can be said that the initial birth stage of the telegraph was higher than expected due to the niche market and foreseen potential. The growth stage was concise in both models. However, the following maturity stage was shortened and a resulting declination phase commenced, as the development of better communication technologies made the telegraph obsolete. Nevertheless, current technologies and business movements would have not been so prominent without the telegraph aiding their growth stage.


The telegraph was an early communication system implemented in the US, which allowed the almost instantaneous transmission of coded messages (normally in the format of Morse code) by pulsing currents of electricity through a wire.

Like many other inventions developed during the same time, the telegraph was exploited by a single distributer (Western Union) and paved the way for many current technologies, business and processes during maturity.

However, the standardisation of the telegraph was short lived, as with many other means of technology, they are constrained by “The Product Life Cycle” (PLC).

The PLC consists of three main stages, this includes the “Birth” phase, the “Growth” phase and the “Maturity” phase. The PLC may also include the “decline” phase if a product eventually becomes obsolete, which in this case the telegraph has.

  1. Birth: this stage comprises from conceptualisation to the development of a product; the new market allows for easy monopolization and patients.  
  2. Growth: the success of the product results in an increase in sales and demand; this stage comprises of the most profit and exposure of the product.
  3. Maturity: the produce has become standardized, resulting in a well-established market and distribution.