Hype cycle

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Gartner Inc.'s Hype Cycle

A hype cycle is a graphic representation of the maturity, adoption and business application of specific technologies. The term was coined by Gartner[1], an analyst/research house, based in the United States, that provides opinions, advice and data on the global information technology industry.


[edit] Hype cycle rationale

Since 1995, Gartner has used hype cycles to characterize the over-enthusiasm or "hype" and subsequent disappointment that typically happens with the introduction of new technologies[2]. Hype cycles also show how and when technologies move beyond the hype, offer practical benefits and become widely accepted. According to Gartner, hype cycles aim to separate the hype from the reality, and enable CIOs and CEOs to decide whether or not a particular technology is ready for adoption. A longer-term historical perspective on such cycles can be found in the research of the economist Carlota Perez.

[edit] Five phases of hype cycle

A hype cycle in Gartner's interpretation comprises 5 phases:

  1. "Technology Trigger" — The first phase of a hype cycle is the "technology trigger" or breakthrough, product launch or other event that generates significant press and interest.
  2. "Peak of Inflated Expectations" — In the next phase, a frenzy of publicity typically generates over-enthusiasm and unrealistic expectations. There may be some successful applications of a technology, but there are typically more failures.
  3. "Trough of Disillusionment" — Technologies enter the "trough of disillusionment" because they fail to meet expectations and quickly become unfashionable. Consequently, the press usually abandons the topic and the technology.
  4. "Slope of Enlightenment" — Although the press may have stopped covering the technology, some businesses continue through the "slope of enlightenment" and experiment to understand the benefits and practical application of the technology.
  5. "Plateau of Productivity" — A technology reaches the "plateau of productivity" as the benefits of it become widely demonstrated and accepted. The technology becomes increasingly stable and evolves in second and third generations. The final height of the plateau varies according to whether the technology is broadly applicable or benefits only a niche market.

The term is now used more broadly in the marketing of new technologies.

[edit] Mastering the Hype Cycle book

In September 2008, Harvard Business Press published "Mastering the Hype Cycle: How to Adopt the Right Innovation at the Right Time" by Gartner analysts Jackie Fenn and Mark Raskino[3]. The book explains the Hype Cycle research methodology in detail and it lays out a clear approach to innovation adoption to replace the typical hype-driven approach. More information about the book can be found on a Web site dedicated to the book[4].

[edit] Hype in new media

Hype in new media, in the more general media term of hype[5], plays a large part in the adoption of new media forms by society. Applying the Hype Cycle to new media technologies such as the iPod, which was found to have failure rates of 13.7% in a 2005 MacInTouch study[6] in the middle of the iPod boom, we can see the same trends apply for forms of new media as they apply to the scope of technology in general.

Terry Flew states that hype, generally the enthusiastic and strong feeling around new forms of media and technology in which we expect they will modify everything for the better, surrounding new media technologies and their popularisation, along with the development of the internet, is common characteristic. But following shortly after the period of 'inflated expectations', as per the diagram above, the new media technologies quickly fall into a period of disenchantment, which is the end of the primary, and strongest, phase of hype.

For an example, many analyses of the internet in the 1990’s can be characterized by the large amount of hype that surrounded it[7][8][9], which as a result created 'debunking' responses toward the internet[10]. However, such hype and the negative and positive responses toward it have now given way to research that looks empirically at new media and its impact.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Fenn, Jackie (1995-01-01). "Word Spy: hype cycle". When to Leap on the Hype Cycle. Gartner Group. http://www.wordspy.com/words/hypecycle.asp. Retrieved on 2009-02-04. 
  2. ^ Fenn, Jackie (2008-06-27). "Understanding hype cycles". When to Leap on the Hype Cycle. Gartner Group. http://www.gartner.com/pages/story.php.id.8795.s.8.jsp. Retrieved on 2009-02-04. 
  3. ^ Fenn, Jackie; Mark Time (2008-06-27). Understanding Gartner's Hype Cycles, 2008. Harvard Business Press. G00158921. 
  4. ^ "Mastering the Hype Cycle". Hype Cycle Book. http://www.gartner.com/hypecycle. Retrieved on 2009-02-04. 
  5. ^ Flew, Terry (2008). New Media: An Introduction (3rd ed.). South Melbourne: OUP Australia and New Zealand. ISBN (10) 0195551494, (13) 978-0195551495. 
  6. ^ "iPod Reliability Survey". MacInTouch, Inc.. 2005. http://www.macintouch.com/reliability/ipodfailures.html. Retrieved on 2008-08-28. 
  7. ^ Negroponte, Nicolas (1996-01-03). Being Digital (1st ed.). Vintage. ISBN (10) 0679762906, (13) 978-0679762904. 
  8. ^ Kelly, Kevin (1997-09-01). New Rules For The New Economy. Vintage. http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/5.09/newrules.html. Retrieved on 2008-08-28. 
  9. ^ Dyson, Esther (1997). Release 2.0: A Design For Living In The Digital Age (1st ed.). New York: Broadway Books. 
  10. ^ Flew, Terry (2008). New Media: An Introduction (3rd ed.). South Melbourne: OUP Australia and New Zealand. ISBN (10) 0195551494, (13) 978-0195551495. 

[edit] External links

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