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“If we use the appearance of the first tools as our starting point, it took about 2,485,000 years, or 99.4%, of our economic history to go from the first tools to the hunter-gatherer level of economic and social sophistication.
It then took only 0.6% of human history to leap from the $90 per capita 102 SKU economy of the Yanomamö, to the $36,000 per capita 1010 SKU economy of the New Yorkers.
It took 12,000 years to inch from the $90 per-person hunter-gatherer economy to the roughly $150 per-person economy of the Ancient Greeks in 1000 BC. It wasn’t until 1750 AD, when world gross domestic product (GDP) per person reached around $180.
that the figure had finally managed to double from our hunter-gatherer days 15,000 years ago. Then in the mid-eighteenth century, something extraordinary happened—world GDP per person increased 37-fold in an incredibly short 250 years to its current level of $6,600.
To summarize 2.5 million years of economic history in brief: for a very, very, very long time not much happened; then all of a sudden, all hell broke loose.
Another way to think of it is that over 97 percent of humanity’s wealth was created in just the last 0.01 percent of our history.”

- The Origin of Wealth
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