October 11, 2020
Hype Cycle

A hype cycle is a branded graphical representation of maturity and adoption of new technologies. The hype cycle is divided into 5 regions


  1. Innovation Trigger : A trigger, usually in the academic world, that enables some new kind of technology. Sometimes this can also be triggers caused by media exposure.
  2. Peak of Inflated Expectation : The innovation trigger causes a lot of hype and leads to success stories and stories of failure. However, the bias is highly towards the success stories during this time. A reason for this is probably a combination of survivorship bias and not knowing just enough about the new technology.
  3. Trough of disillusionment : As time goes by, the hype drops. The gap between what is actually possible with the technology and aspirations narrow.
  4. Slope of Enlightment : Now even more time has passed and there is a very good technical and practical idea on what the technology is capable and what markets are viable. An industry begins to form around it.
  5. Plateau of Productivity : The technology now has entered a more stable stage. The technology has been commercialized and mainstream adoption starts.

Gartner, an American research firm publishes these cycles after extensive analysis to lend a more standard perspective of a new technology. However, it is not scientific and not all technology trends tend to make it till stage 5. It has also been noted that the figure resembles the impulse response to an elastic system.


Hype cycle for emerging technologies, 2020 (Source: Gartner)


Subscribe to ⚡Fractional.
For more content like this and curated content on thinking, investing and tech delivered right to your inbox every week. See past issues here.
© 2020 think better