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The Most Important Part of Hype Cycles for Providers to Understand

by Hank Barnes  |  August 12, 2014  |  Submit a Comment

It is hype cycle season, with the majority of this year’s hype cycle available to subscribers and the last few coming in the next few weeks.   Check out the Hype Cycle Special Report page for an overview of this year’s coverage, and some assets that are available to all, even non-subscribers.

I recently held a Webinar (recording available to anyone) on how providers can use Hype Cycles to refine their go-to-market strategies (and published research on the topic for subscribers).   A deep analysis of hype cycle reports that cover your technology can be invaluable in driving success in the early stages of markets.


There tends to be a lot of focus on the Hype Cycle Graphic, but fixating solely on that is missing the boat, just like fixating on the Magic Quadrant graphic can lead your astray.    The real value is in the detailed technology profiles that provide much more insight and context.

In my opinion, the most important aspect of profiles to understand is “The Priority Matrix.”    This looks at the potential impact of the technology, ranging from transformative to low impact and the timeframe for the innovation to hit the Plateau of Productivity..   This assessment should guide providers on expectations, emphasis, and urgency of progress for their innovations.  If you have technology in a transformative category, you can deliver a huge impact, but it may be very hard for customers to adopt and learn how to execute that transformation.  The more you can wrap around the technology, like services, implementation guidance, best practices, and the like,  the better.     And you’ll be a great position to capture significant value.  Conversely, low impact innovations probably do not merit standalone products.  Instead, use them to improve your existing products.  Timing is a critical factor as well.  Innovations always need to make progress, but expectations for  the speed and scope of broad adoption should be tempered by the timing element.

The other important point to remember about Hype Cycles is they focus on innovations in the early stages of market adoption. Navigating the hype cycle is critical to achieving mainstream success, but it is just that.  The prize lies at the end, as technologies fall off the hype cycle they are ready to be adopted by the bulk of the market, expanding early stage deployments and seeing more cautious companies adopting.  This is when the bulk of the revenue opportunity emerges.

These are just a couple of the points that providers should think about from the hype cycle profiles and reports.   For a deeper exploration, check out the webinar recording mentioned previously.



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Category: future-of-sales  go-to-market  

Tags: hype-cycle  innovation  mainstream  marketing  sales  

Hank Barnes
VP Distinguished Analyst
6+ years at Gartner
30+ years IT Industry

Hank Barnes explores the dynamics, challenges, and frustrations enterprises face when buying technology products and services. Using that customer-centric lens, he advises those responsible for marketing technology products and services, general managers responsible for product portfolios, and startup CEOs on next practices to drive success for their customers and their business. Read Full Bio

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