Hype Cycles - a tool for sensemaking

Do yall know about Gartner Hype Cycles?

From this page:

Hype Cycles are a tool for people to get educated about the promise of an emerging technology within the context of their industry and individual appetite for risk.

Hype Cycles help you:

  • Separate hype from the real drivers of a technology’s commercial promise

  • Reduce the risk of your technology investment decisions

  • Compare your understanding of a technology’s business value with the objectivity of experienced IT analysts

Each Hype Cycle drills down into the five key phases of a technology’s life cycle.

  • Innovation Trigger: A potential technology breakthrough kicks things off. Early proof-of-concept stories and media interest trigger significant publicity. Often no usable products exist and commercial viability is unproven.
  • Peak of Inflated Expectations: Early publicity produces a number of success stories — often accompanied by scores of failures. Some companies take action; many do not.
  • Trough of Disillusionment: Interest wanes as experiments and implementations fail to deliver. Producers of the technology shake out or fail. Investments continue only if the surviving providers improve their products to the satisfaction of early adopters.
  • Slope of Enlightenment: More instances of how the technology can benefit the enterprise start to crystallize and become more widely understood. Second- and third-generation products appear from technology providers. More enterprises fund pilots; conservative companies remain cautious.
  • Plateau of Productivity: Mainstream adoption starts to take off. Criteria for assessing provider viability are more clearly defined. The technology’s broad market applicability and relevance are clearly paying off.

This is what this hype cycle looks like visually:

Hype cycles have been issued for the web3 cycles many times, including by Gartner - a firm that has pioneered the hype cycle taxonomy. Here is a recent 2021 Hype Cycle for blockchain:

Here is another Hype Cycle for emerging technologies issued in 2021:

I find these hype cycle charts not to be very useful for timing the market, but I do find them to be a useful tool for the understanding the timeless driving forces beyond the adoption of new technologies. Knowing how to identify Innovation Triggers is a important part of sensemaking. As is being able to understand the difference between a Peak of Inflated Expectations and a Slope of Enlightenment.

I hope you find them to be useful as well.

1 Like

Oh, this reminds of college :smile:
Curious how this works out in a relatively new space like web3 where things are still young and newer solutions come up.
In my experience, the older the space → the more valuable impactful hype cycles
When it’s a few years apart in a relatively new space → i think it makes sense to be worth exploring newer solutions despite the risk.
Takes longer → But atleast you help in the process of building an effective Hype Cycle in the future

Just my 2wei :slight_smile: