Wednesday Buzz: Where Tech’s Hype Bubble Is Ready to Burst

What's endlessly overhyped, and what's ready to go mainstream? Gartner's latest hype cycle study breaks it down. Also: how extroverts can break the ice with a tough cube to crack—the introvert.

It seems like the hype cycle is never ending, doesn’t it? For folks who work for Gartner, in particular, it must feel that way.

That’s because each year, the tech research firm releases a study covering a wide array of technologies expected to affect the consumer sector—maybe not now, but eventually. This month, the firm released its 20th annual study, tracking more than 2,000 individual technologies.

Gartner’s hype-tracking system follows a path: First, a technology gets conceived (an “innovation trigger”), then hyped, reaching a “peak of inflated expectations.” Eventually, the buzz gets overwhelming, and the technology falls into a “trough of disillusionment” with the public. Eventually, the technology matures, rising up a “slope of enlightenment.” And finally, it just works, settling into a “plateau of productivity” for most users.

If you’d like to see what this looks like in action, here’s a handy graphic from the firm showing the hype cycle in full:


Some quick points for those playing at home:

Digital security is early in the hype cycle—expect it to heat up.

The internet of things is at full hype right now, and it probably feels like it, too.

3D printing is sort of all over the place. Certain technologies, like scanners, are likely to be in common use in some sectors, but consumer 3D printing is a ways off. Gartner says it’ll be years before the technology goes mainstream.

We’re sick of cloud computing right now, which means it’s about to become a mature technology.

Check out more highlights from the study on Gartner’s website.

Extrovert, Meet Introvert

Sure, extroverts may rule the conversation most of the time, but pair them up with an introvert and they might find themselves with a challenge on their hands.

Over at the blog, Kaylynn Nelson offers up some tips to bridge the divide. One of her main points: Forget everything you think you know about introverts.

“Contrary to popular belief, an introvert isn’t necessarily an overtly shy person,” she writes. “In fact, introverts will often contribute insightful and thought-provoking comments in a discussion. The main difference between the two is that while extroverts thrive [on] and attain energy from large crowds, introverts feel depleted when they spend too much time with a lot of people.”

Nelson offers suggestions on how extroverts can break the ice, how to take a step back and listen, and how to show that they’re interested in talking with introverts. Have any tips of your own, extroverts? (ht @dshiao)

Other good reads

If your tech addiction is particularly strong, this hunk of plastic called the noPhone may appease you, even if your phone isn’t nearby. That’s right—it’s a phone surrogate that serves no other purpose than to kinda feel like a phone.

In case you missed it, Marketing General’s Tony Rossell has highlights from his ASAE 2014 session on emerging hybrid membership models. He was joined in Nashville by ASAE’s own Greg Melia, CAE, and Krista Barnes, CAE.

Feel like yawning? Let it out, then read this Wall Street Journal breakdown of what scientists understand about yawning.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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