Hype Cycle
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Work in Progress - Latest Dec 24, 2019


The Technology Hype Cycle - The space between ThumbsUp Fact and ThumbsDown Fiction. Labeling technologies is hard. They can flip anywhere on their hype cycle journey.

ThumbsUp The Hype Cycle is Fact

Hype Cycle

  • A clever marketing strategy where products are advertized as the thing everyone must have, to the point where people begin to feel they need it.

  • Excessive publicity and commotion.

  • Exaggerated or extravagant claims.

  • Something deliberately misleading.

Figure 1. Hype Cycle Stages

The Hype Cycle helps separating fiction and reality.

Technology Trigger

A potential technology breakthrough happens.

Peak of Inflated Expectations

Early publicity produces a number of success stories and often accompanied by stories of failures. Some companies may take corrective action but most don’t.

Trough of Disillusionment

Interest wanes as experiments and implementations fail to deliver on the hype.

Slope of Enlightenment

Technology consumers begin to understand the technology better and how it may benefit them.

Plateau of Productivity

Mainstream adoption starts to take off.

Also, check out Gartner Hype Cycle

Fact or Fiction?

The space between ThumbsUp Fact or ThumbsDown Fiction is where technologies are.

I do not use a fixed criteria for labeling technologies as ThumbsUp Fact or as ThumbsDown Fiction, depending on what stage it is in the hype cycle.

I do think technologies that do not make it to market, very short lived ones that do, or those that were just vapor, are ThumbsDown Fiction.

Some technologies that are ThumbsUp Fact, just make sense to me when they are in the Technology Trigger stage of the hype cycle. Some make it to the Plateau of Productivity stage. Others stumble along their way in the hype cycle stages and turn into ThumbsDown Fiction.

Some ThumbsUp Fact technologies that make it to through the Trough of Disillusionment stage may turn into ThumbsDown Fiction on their way to the Plateau of Productivity stage.

Then there are the ThumbsUp Fact technologies that are well into the Plateau of Productivity stage that may be turned into ThumbsDown Fiction by actions of their creators.

I am sure I’ll be updating some ThumbsUp Fact posts that have turned into ThumbsDown Fiction, and some ThumbsDown Fiction posts that have turned into ThumbsUp Fact. Such is the way of things with incredibly fast changing technologies.



John at johntelford dot com
Portland, Oregon

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