'... we need better predictive tools to plot the speed at which new technologies will spread. Spreadsheet gymnastics by 20-something b-school graduates should not dictate our investment decisions. We can produce better predictions. We have the data - from decades of technology innovation. We have the ability to analyze the data - after all, Everett Rogers wrote "Diffusion of Innovations" 40 years ago ...' 
When will these analysts get it into their heads you cannot predict with certainty by looking into the past figures. If this was the case there would be a lot more people making a killing on the markets, insurance companies would be rolling in dollars because they could reliably predict disasters et., al.
As for the solution or alternative I just don't know. Maybe closely observing select influences in a Gladwellian sort of way . Maybe something the way O`Reilly keeps an eye on the Alpha Geeks to guide what trends are worth investigating. 
 business plan archive, 'Top Ten Lessons from the Dot Com Meltdown, 10) Prediction tools must improve', Ibid.
 Malcom Gladwell describes one such way you can make rapid decisions by gathering less information on a subject and focusing on a few key indicators. ~ http://www.gladwell.com/blink
 Tim O`Reilly may well have read Gladwells book because seems to (publicly anyway) pay close attention to "the alpha geeks" in the hope of understanding gaps, opportunities and future directions in the tech market. ~ http://www.itconversations.com/shows/detail197.html