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The concept of leapfrogging is used in many different domains of economics and business, and was originally developed in the field of industrial organization and economic growth. The main idea beyond the concept of leapfrogging is that small and incremental innovations lead the dominant firm to stay ahead. However, sometimes, radical innovations will permit to new firms to leapfrog the ancient and dominant firm. The phenomenon can occur to firms but also to leadership of countries, or cities. More recently the concept of leapfrogging is being used in the context of sustainable development for developing countries as a theory of development which may accelerate development by skipping inferior, less efficient, more expensive or more polluting technologies and industries and move directly to more advanced ones. The mobile phone is a great example of a “leapfrog” technology: it has enabled developing countries to skip the fixed-line technology of the 20th century and move straight to the mobile technology of the 21st. It is proposed that through leapfrogging developing countries can avoid environmentally harmful stages of development and do not need to follow the polluting development trajectory of industrialized countries.

Leapfrogging is also a children's game, so its translation could give a hint on how to call the other, the interesting leapfrogging I am discussing. The French version of this game is called saute-mouton (literally "leapsheep"), the German version is Bockspringen and the Romanian is called capra ("mounting rack" or "goat"). In India it is called as "Aar Ghodi Ki Par Ghodi" (meaning "horseleap"). In Italy the game is called "la cavallina" (i.e. "small or baby female horse"). In Dutch it is called "bockspringen" (literally "goatjumping"; a 'bock' is a male goat) or "haasje-over" (literally "hare-over"). And in Spanish? I have fogotten! We knew this game, I swear, but asking many a colleague the best suggestion was la piola, but we are not sure if it is the name of the game in Spanish or only the name used in the Canary Islands. Weird.

Now watch Pepe the Frog doing a leapfrog backwards. Who would have thought that possible?

Thanks to wikipedia for the many useful data, copy & paste had a field day today :-) Such a pity they could not help with the name of the children's game.


Am 30.11.2016 um 10:55 von Nacho
Hola, Jordi! El juego en español es el "salto del potro", el "salto del burro" o "pídola".
Am 30.11.2016 um 11:21 von Jordi
¡Gracias, Nacho, y un saludo! El burro me suena de otro juego, un poco más bestia (o más burro, tal vez por eso se llame así). Ahora, si llamamos \"salto del burro"\ a un proceso que supera las tecnologías anticuadas no va a funcionar. Tal vez mejor \"pídola"\... A ver.

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