I'm proposing a new index called CLIPDAQ for the ongoing measurement of technology adoption. The CLIPDAQ index would be an aggregate index based upon regional and global sales of paper clips and as such represents an ideal inverse index for the measurement of technology adoption and the proliferation of the 'paperless office'.
I propose that the base CLIPDAQ index value is based in 1969, shortly after the notion of the paperless office originated from Xerox in Palo Alto and by collating paper clip sales statistics since 1969, we can not only derive the current CLIPDAQ index for future comparative purposes, but we can also plot the historical rise of technology adoption.
Why paperclips? No other artifact or business tool has been around for so long in an untouched, un-evolved state and which can also be directly and inversely correlated with the proliferation, adoption and successful deployment of information technology in the business environment. We could look at PC sales or printer sales for example, but indicies or formulae based upon such items would be too complex to compute with accuracy as they can often be used by multiple users and for many different purposes which could well result in an inaccurate or distorted index. An index derived from paperclip sales on the other hand, represents the most pure metric for the measurement of the rise of the paperless office over the last thirty-five years.