The hype cycle is a branded graphical presentation, developed and used by the American research, advisory and information technology firm Gartner, to represent the maturity, adoption, and social application of specific technologies. Each hype cycle drills down into the five key phases of a technology’s life cycle.
|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 act; most do not.
|3||Trough of Disillusionment||Interest wanes as experiments and implementations fail to deliver. Producers of the technology shake out or fail. Investment continues 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. If the technology has more than a niche market then it will continue to grow.|
The term “hype cycle” and each of the associated phases are now used more broadly in the marketing of new technologies. Opagio offers two mechanisms to avoid disillusionment: changes can be “scenarioed” and measured and measured before and after change.