• Nadine Rinderknecht

Gartner Hype Cycle

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

In the Sheets, emerging technologies are often legally assessed. In order to filter out interesting technologies, the "Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies" of the research and consulting company Gartner Inc. can prove particularly useful. It shows which technologies are likely to be on their way to hype, which are currently being hyped, and which have already left the hype behind.

Below the Hype Cycles of the last two years are shown: on the left the older Hype Cycle of 18 August 2020 and on the right the current Hype Cycle of 23 August 2021.

What phases can the Hype Cycle be divided into? According to Gartner Inc., the first phase of the Hype Cycle begins with a technological trigger ("Technology Trigger"). Here, the attention is limited to the great interest of the professional audience. As a result of intensive reporting, attention increases exponentially to the "Peak of Inflated Expectations". In the next phase, attention drops into a valley of disappointment due to unfulfilled expectations ("Trough of Disillusionment"). With a realistic assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of the technology, attention finally rises along a path of enlightenment ("Slope of Enlightenment") to the plateau of productivity ("Plateau of Productivity"). The initially overestimated, immature innovation has become a solid technology from a realistic perspective.

A simplified formulation of the Hype Cycle is offered by futurologist Roy Amara: "We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run." (Amara's Law). ​ Thus, in addition to filtering out interesting innovations for the Sheets, the Gartner Hype Cycle has a second important function: In order to be able to assess the opportunities and risks of a technology as objectively as possible, a step back should be taken and the technology observed in the larger context of its expected development.

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