Recently we have noticed several blogs raise the question of whether there could be an Obama hype cycle. For example Miki Szikszai says ‘I hope his advisers are telling him about the Gartner hype cycle’ and Neville Hobson asks ‘Hmm, I wonder what the Gartner hype cycle would look like if people’s high expectations of Obama were mapped to it.’
It is not clear whether the hype cycle can be applied to the expectations people have of politicians – though we have noticed a couple of recent attempts. For example people have tried a Sarah Palin hype cycle and a Gordon Brown hype cycle , the latter – evidenced with data:
There is undoubtedly a rush of social expectation, exaggerated by marketing, for a new leader. The question is whether the usual underlying progress curve is S shaped for a politician. It is always a combination of the bell shaped social expectation curve added to an S shape progress curve that yields the hype cycle. We explain how this works in Chapter 2 of the book – ‘Behind the Hype Cycle’.
Do leaders usually recover from initial disappointment? Gartner analysts study technology innovations and markets, we are not qualified political pollsters or sophologists – so we can’t say. Of course we would be thrilled if the HC curve really was useful in another domain. Do you have a view on its applicability ?