Philip of Macedon introduced it and his son, Alexander the Great used it most effectively; a very long spear or pike (typically 8-16 feet) which provided the phalanx with the opportunity to strike at some distance prior to being “hands on.”
With the arrow it became short range strategic artillery and always in tight formation, the “cluster” effect. Between the “onrush” of cavalry (Alexander rode Bucephalus) and the “clustering” of compact strategic groups, it became all about speed and power to the focal point.
Several books just now (“The Second Machine Age” by Erik Brynjolfsson & “The Lights in the Tunnel” by Martin Ford) are suggesting that technology has become the new strategic business “Sarissa.”
No longer is technology simply an enabler of business. We are now at an “inflection point” whereby what used to be science fiction is now a reality. Digital “fluency” is a requirement and it is now becoming about speed and power to the point of focus.
Technology is now the long spear. What does it mean for each of us? All of us?