Mastering The Hype Cycle

How to Choose the Right Innovation at the Right Time

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Recommended Reading

October 1st, 2008 by Jackie Fenn · 1 Comment

One idea we wanted to adopt for Mastering the Hype Cycle was an approach to creating a bibliography used by Scott Berkun in his highly engaging, insightful and …yes… innovative book The Myths of Innovation. In Berkun’s own words:

Traditional bibiographies provide little value. They obscure the relative value of prior works and ignore how the author used them (were they devoured, skimmed, or used as a paperweight?)

Instead of a traditional bibliography ordered by author’s last name, Berkun provides one ranked by the value that each reference provided to his work. Definitely an innovation worth adopting. But unfortunatlely, with the pressures of publishing deadlines, not one that we managed to incoroporate (reinforcing the sad conclusion that innovation takes more time and effort than running with the status quo).

So instead, I want to mention two particular books that were rarely off my desk during the time I was writing the book.  Diffusion of Innovations by Everett Rogers is a classic book now on its 5th edition. It does a wonderful job of structuring a highly complex set of ideas and research into clear models, categories, processes, and “generalizations” about how any innovation or idea spreads through a population of people. Rogers is the originator of the almost universally used set of “adopter categories” (innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards) and other key concepts such as change agents and opinion leaders. The book is definitely academic in nature compared to more recent explorations such as Gladwell’s Tipping Point, but a treasure trove of experimentally-based insight and clarity.

The second book was the source for much of the material on how people make decisions and the biases that lead them astray – The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making by Scott Plous. This is one of a growing number of books on the topic of behavioral economics, most of which draw from the same set of experimental evidence, but one that is highly readable and attempts to net out the lessons in an actionable way.

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Jijesh // Oct 1, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Jackie, I fully agree with you about Rogers. His work is a true classic. I will have to check out the work by Plous. Thanks for the lead.