January 26th, 2013 by Mark Raskino · Comments Off
Last year Gartner analysts published over 90 Hype Cycle reports covering different technology domains. There were more than 1900 technology profiles within those charts. I had always wanted to see all that data in one place, at one time.
During some other work – on information as strategy, a client challenged my suggestion that we should all be doing more data visualization - because its easy. My point was that with today’s software tools, GPUs and large high res display monitors is should be easy and I don’t know why people don’t do more of it. 15 or 20 years ago we would not have dreamed of the graphics capabilities available to modern developers today. ”But”, the client said, “where would I hire such visual programmers?”
When I thought about that, I wondered how hard it would be for anyone to learn to do original data visualization. It has been a couple of decades since I did any programming at all – but I assumed that modern development tools would make it reasonably easy. After not much Googling I found that turns out to be true. Soon enough I was having fun with a special purpose visualization language called ‘Processing’ (www.processing.org).
It took me a couple of weekends to learn and play and produce what I wanted. I took an excel spreadsheet containing the data for all the profiles analysts created for all the 2012 hype cycles. I pulled that data into my program, and plotted it. My code was horribly amateur, but it did what I wanted.
Here is the result. Click on it to enlarge and see the detail.
2012 Gartner Hype Cycle Profiles Visualised
Each data point is a technology. I used color to indicate the analyst’s assigned “time to plateau”. A combination of size and shape indicate the analyst’s view of the level of impact the technology will have. When I finished, I realized there are 1962 items in total ( a bit spooky - because I happened to be born in 1962.)
It’s really nice to see all the data at one glance. It’s not massively valuable -but it does let Jackie and I see some patterns. For example there are a few red items on the right hand side of the chart. Red indicates “obsolete before plateau”. Usually ,we should make that predictive call earlier in the life of the technology. Another example pattern is the general spread of the data. Overall it looks quite healthy and the far left side is fairly well populated .. showing that the pipeline of new technology is fairly strong. The trough area and the peak area are well populated – which shows analysts are making the hard calls.
We don’t intend to do anything with this. It was just a personal experiment. But I thought it worth sharing.
August 8th, 2012 by Mark Raskino · Comments Off
Here are parts of some comments people have recently posted on a well known website. Can you guess what they are talking about?
- “I decided to jump onto the hype…”
- “I didn’t have great expectations… but I was still disappointed”
- “I bought this after all my friends, one after the other said they were.. “
- “I am lucky, I did not have to buy it, because personally, if I had contributed to the fortune that has been made from this disturbing trash I doubt there are sufficient penances in the world for me to perform to atone for my crass error of judgement.”
- “OK I only bought this because of the hype.”
- “I am so cross I succumbed to the marketing …”
- “I downloaded this because my friends were hammering on about it. Yep, I was a sheep.”
No they are not talking about a piece of application software from a major vendor.. but about a book that has sold in very large numbers this year, in the category of ‘romantic’ fiction. Many people commenting on Amazon clearly wish they had not succumbed to the peer pressure or herd instinct that caused them to buy and read it. Despite their gut instinct and usual avoidance of that genre, they somehow felt compelled. The force of social contagion is incredibly powerful. Smart, highly educated, analytical people can betray their better judgement because of it.
Your next major business or technology investment decision is just as susceptible to this force. You can easily be swayed if it appears that everyone else is joining in. Standing away from the market and waiting, feels lonely and more risky than jumping aboard. But often – waiting until the time is right for your company situation, is exactly the right move.
This year, Gartner is publishing over 90 hype cycles ( subscription required ) covering more than 1900 innovations in many different technology related domains . You can use that research, to stay logical and remind yourself of the inevitable pattern of hype, disillusionment and eventual recovery.
Gartner doesn’t have a position on this summer’s fiction paperback best seller, but I can tell you mine: I won’t be reading it. I doubt that the momentary satisfaction of voicing an opinion at a dinner table will be worth it. I can always read it 2 years from now .. once the market has formed a collective conclusion on its real value.
July 6th, 2012 by Mark Raskino · 1 Comment
Gartner analysts are busy finishing their 2012 hype cycles and passing them over to our editing team. The whole special report will be published in August. Jackie and I are helping people with the finer points of hype cycle crafting – making sure positions are sharp and all moves are well explained. This year we expect to have nearly 100 hype cycles profiling close to 2000 technologies and related innovations. The breadth of coverage will grow again.
We are hoping to deliver new hype cycles in several topic areas including Big Data, In-Memory Computing, The Internet of things, Contact Centre, Human Capital Management, Cloud Service Brokerage and Strategic Business Capabilities.
June 8th, 2012 by Mark Raskino · Comments Off
As we have mentioned before in the blog dear hypecyclists, the phrase “next big thing” is a classic indicator that an innovation is rising up from the trigger towards the peak of inflated expectations. A simple Google News search for this keyword sequence is a great way to trawl for a big catch of fresh hype. Try it yourself sometime. Here’s what caught my eye when I did it this week.
- Cloning teeth – this midle aged analyst says yes please!
- 3D online gambling – we need to make it more addctive?
- Content monetisation – yes indeed, that would be nice.
- Transparent TVs – not sure I see it myself.
- Korean Pop Music – love Korean tech, but the synthpop?.. not so much.
- Touch ultrabooks – the industry seems determned to try every combination and permutation
- Adaptive Radio - a surprisingly deep-dive tech for Businessweek attention
- OpenStack – cloud and opensource at the same time… guaranteed hypefest!
- Pinterest – oh but isn’t it like, just soooo 2011 girlfriend?
- Underwater hotels – don’t hold your breath.
- Smart TV e-commerce – if I had a dollar for every time since 1996 that somebody said this…
- SoLoMo - surely nobody can say that word out loud with a serious face .. so how can it catch on?
- Social medicine – oh yeah, that’s the real future – the one that 1970s TV told us about.. beam me up Scotty.
- Wii U games – for Mario & Luigi’s sake I really hope so.
- Kickstarter for Apps – perhaps a generation of young crowdfunded entrepreneurs will save us all from financial ruin
- A.I. – always interesting
January 27th, 2012 by Jackie Fenn · Comments Off
As Seth Godin points out in a recent blog posting, there is often a long preamble to the trigger that launches an innovation on its path up to the Peak of Inflated Expectation. In Mastering the Hype Cycle, we track the advent of usage-based car insurance offerings (such as Snapshot from Progressive Insurance) back to vehicle tracking discussions in the 1970s. In this case, as in many others, it took decades for technology performance and costs to reach a point where realistic user trials, and eventually products and services, were technologically feasible and economically viable. There are often mini-peaks and troughs along the way – for example, breakthroughs in quantum computing are reported every few years. Designer and researcher Bill Buxton calls this phenomenon the long nose of innovation (a play on the “long tail” of product popularity).
Spotting the trigger of a hype cycle can be a challenging but highly rewarding activity – it’s mostly the domain of the aggressive, Type-A adopters who keep an eye on start-ups, go to VC events, and tour industrial and academic labs regularly. The payoff is first mover advantage, the penalty for getting it wrong is wasted investment and potentially tipping off fast followers about a strategically important bet. But for the growing number of organizations who are adopting a strategy of being selectively aggressive in areas that matter to them, learning to spot the trigger is an important skill to master.
Tags: Hype Cycle Insight and Advice · Hype Cycle Twists & Turns · Innovation Best Practices · Innovation Management and the Hype Cycle · Uncategorized
September 23rd, 2011 by Mark Raskino · Comments Off
This week, in a keynote interview at a summit organised by the Hollywood magazine Variety, movie director James Cameron discussed the Gartner Hype Cycle. Below is a photo, kindly shared with us by Philip Leylveld, who created some of the slides used in the stage debate about 3D technology in the movies.
Forbes.com reports that when Variety’s David Cohen suggested 3D was going into the hype cycle trough of disillusionment, Cameron said: “This represents perception, not reality… we have to turn around that perception”.
We agree. After the initial wave of excitement, the idea that modern 3D TV and movies would be the next big thing, has been descending into the trough. But pioneers like Cameron don’t give up easily! They keep plugging away to fix the problems until an innovation can be placed firmly onto the slope of enlightenment – where predictable business returns start to multiply.
April 20th, 2011 by Mark Raskino · Comments Off
Financial Times contributors have written about Hype Cycles several times over the last few months, on a variety of subjects:
(FT registration needed)
Did you ever wonder who first drew on a page, that classic hype cycle curve shape? It was my colleague and friend Jackie Fenn in 1995. She’s still one of Gartner’s most senior analysts. Here’s a (FREE) video interview with the Financial Times, where she talks about the emerging technologies Hype Cycle 2010.
April 15th, 2011 by Mark Raskino · Comments Off
I love CNET’s “Buzz Out Loud” podcast and its very impressive presenters. Yesterday I was listening to the April 13 episode 1447 and a rapid fire interchange of views between a couple of long time anchors.
Molly Wood: “I feel like in a lot of ways you’ve just gotta let it go – like 3D is just kinda DOA”
Brian Cooley: “And the retailers know its just dead on the floor”
(27:15 to 27:22)
THAT term – DOA… just jumped out at me. It should be a classic marker signal for all hype cycle followers. You just know that the peak has passed when you start hearing that term.
A technology has barely arrived on the market and already, sentiment is turning negative.
I can take no position on 3DTV – its not my coverage as an analyst. But when I hear that word, it gives me a pretty strong indication about where I would place it on the hype cycle.
Listen out for DOA in your tech news reading and listening.
October 12th, 2010 by Jackie Fenn · Comments Off
Powerpoint gets a lot of bad press, often for good reason (see for example the NY Times article We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint). But the power of a good graphical representation as a focal point for discussion transcends the medium that delivers it — flip chart, Powerpoint or, as in the very first hype cycle, MacDraw!
The hype cycle is a great graphic for tracking and setting expectations around innovations, and in particular for educating execs not to get swept away with each new thing. In the context of technology planning, one of its most important functions is to highlight a set of technologies in relation to each other. This is the best way to avoid the trap of rushing in at the peak because “everybody’s doing it” rather than examining what else you could be spending those same resources on prior to making an adoption decision.
Other graphical representations can play a similar role in comparing investment options. One alternate view that we publish with every hype cycle is the priority matrix (see Figure 1 below). This shows benefit on one axis against “time to plateau”, a simple proxy for risk, on the other. This graphic helps focus a planning discussion around the relative risks and benefits of different technology. Note that the benefit is actually quite varied between industries or even individual companies depending on their value proposition, so a major part of using these graphics is to customize them for your own situation. By forcing your team to take a stab at positioning items on a graphic like this, you make hidden assumptions explicit and drive a more meaningful discussion about investment opportunities and risks.
Other graphics was have published that compare technologies include a radar screen-style chart which features timing, and the newly-introduced market clock (clients can see this at Introducing the Gartner IT Market Clock. Also for clients – the 1800 technologies in the My Hype Cycle,2010 toolkit have several fields such as maturity, adoption level and benefit that could be used to create custom graphics from Excel).
What else have you seen or used that fills a similar function in forcing a comparative look at a set of technology candidates?
Figure 1: The 2010 Priority Matrix for Emerging Technologies - this is a different view of the same technologies featured in the 2010 Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle (see blog posting 2010 Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle is Here).
Tags: Innovation Best Practices · Innovation Management and the Hype Cycle
September 28th, 2010 by Mark Raskino · Comments Off
Our colleague in Gartner Industries research, Alistair Newton, specialises in banking and financial services technologies. He recently appeared on the Financial Times website, interviewed in a video – explaining how the hype cycle works and some of the things that appear in the 2010 Hype Cycle for Banking and Investment Services, Customer Acquisition and Retention report.