Business Unusual

The Hype Cycle - predicting the tech winners and losers since 2008

Image credit - NeedCokeNow - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. And when it comes to understanding the often baffling world of technology a picture certainly helps.

The Hype Cycle was created by the US IT Group Gartner to graphically show the five stages they noted that new technologies tended to follow.

It was created in 2008 and Gartner have plotted the relative placement of emerging technologies along the curve most years since then.

The stages are useful for those looking to invest in companies and services as it does offer some insight into what is simply hype and what holds the promise of long term value.

The 5 stages identified by Gartner

1. Technology 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

Uber and the Hype Cycle - an example

Let's consider the relative coverage and developments with Uber which is arguably sitting somewhere between stage two and three.

Uber was not the first ride sharing platform but it has grown to be the best known globally, in part, because of the huge financial support it has received and for its rapid expansion to new regions. That growth assured it of lots of positive stories often loaded with hyperbole as writers tried to both explain what the service offered and considered the implication on transport companies. Initial reporting predicted the death of metered taxis and company employed taxi drivers. Both are looking unlikely with a pending US court case that may find Uber drivers are employees. This was stage one and two.

As the number of users, and its fleet of drivers, grew so too would stories about the platform's understandable short comings. Then stories about challenges to its legal standing and concerns over safety and level of regulation saw a focus of negative stories on it rather than the industry as people had come to view the ride sharing industry as being Uber. Despite a significant valuation of almost $60 billion, the operation costs suggest that the company is not profitable which places it firmly in stage three.

But its sheer size and moves by legal bodies to find a way to regulate the company, rather than ban it, suggests that the lessons learnt will see it consolidate its user base and begin, over time, to define the new normal and move into a profitability phase, stages 4 and 5.

Read More
Google is almost 20 years old

Google is almost 20 years old

September is a special month for the search giant. Here are a few things you did not know.

Your camera could save the world

Your camera could save the world

A picture is no longer worth just a thousand words, it is how we will build the future and save the past.

What Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is and what it isn't

What Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is and what it isn't

There is much to gain and even more to lose which means we all need to learn more about AI.

Radio's past may ensure its future

Radio's past may ensure its future

All media has been disrupted by the web and mobile. What is the impact on radio?

This sport requires you to run, drive and fight all while remaining seated

This sport requires you to run, drive and fight all while remaining seated

eSports are more than just a game now and may even be an Olympic sport by 2024.

Great ideas, wrong time

Great ideas, wrong time

The iPhone, Ebay and Facebook, we all know these killer applications but what about their very similar predecessors that flopped.

Popular articles
Why the PAC wants South Africa renamed Azania

Why the PAC wants South Africa renamed Azania

Pan Africanist Congress's Narius Moloto explains why it supports the name Azania, a word which he says has Arabic origins.

Opinion:  Bishop Lekganyane is right

Opinion: Bishop Lekganyane is right

Stephen Grootes weighs in on comments made by the Zion Christian Church Bishop at the weekend.

Getting to know MP, Dr Makhosi Khoza

Getting to know MP, Dr Makhosi Khoza

Dr Khoza is admired by South Africans for her role in the SABC inquiry as a ANC member of parliament.

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

The EFF lawyer stole the show during the state capture report court battle.

How to make your first million

How to make your first million

Warren Ingram discusses his new book in which he shares practical ways for ordinary people to achieve financial freedom.

Meet the founder of Capitec Bank, named ‘Best Bank on Earth and Cheapest in SA’

Meet the founder of Capitec Bank, named ‘Best Bank on Earth and Cheapest in SA’

Michiel le Roux speaks about the fascinating story behind the little bank that has the Big 4 shaking in their boots.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?