I have a thesis that the recent history of bubbles are not just reflective of economic “irrational exuberance”, but in fact reflect social reality – the ability of individuals to influence and communicate with each other. The “bubble” is just the final effect, the consequence of that behavior. Our ability to influence and communicate has always depended on technology, but most would agree that in the last 30 years, the impact of technology has been unprecedented – certainly the music, publishing, and newspaper industries are a testament to that.
So the current IT hubbub about cloud, now going on 3 years, is just another bubble. In Gartner-speak, it is reaching the peak of inflated expectations. But the higher the peak, the greater the crash (to the trough of disillusionment) – and this peak has reached amazing heights.
The hype cycle holds true for bubbles – now more than ever. And the message from the hype cycle is that even in a bubble, there is a germ of truth and reality. Google was a dot com. Bank of America, Goldman Sachs were at the center of the asset bubble. The real trick in any bubble is not trying to talk yourself out of the hype, but picking the winners that come out of that bubble. “Should I invest in CDOs” now translates into geek speak with “”should I get my email from the cloud” or “should I use a cloud broker (whatever that is)”
Nick Carr recently did an interesting fireside chat about “Bringing Cloud Down to Earth” at a revitalized virtual COMDEX event. Nice to see the Comdex brand back…sometime you just need those old touchstones to keep your feet on the ground; unfortunately my office does not look like Las Vegas (even if whatever happens there, stays there).
So now its back to research on what we really place our bets on. We need to come out of the other end of this cloud bubble with something that helps our companies, not distracts them.
Oh, BTW – if my thesis is correct, the next bubble is going to be a doozy…