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The 5 phases of a Hype Cycle

Technology Trigger

A potential technology 
breakthrough kicks things off. 
Early stories and media interest 
trigger significant publicity. 
Often no usable products exist 
and commercial viability 
is unproven. Let the hype begin!

Peak of Inflated Expectations

Early press produces 
a number of success 
stories — often accompanied 
by scores of failures. 
Some marketers take action; 
many do not.

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.

Slope of Enlightenment

More instances of how the technology creates real-world benefits start to crystallize and become more widely understood. Second- and third-generation products appear from technology providers. More businesses fund pilots; conservative companies remain cautious.

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. Early investors and adopters celebrate.

How you can use a Gartner Hype Cycle

By understanding the risks, opportunity and maturity of technology at each stage, you can decide to:
  • Adopt early

  • Wait until you have analyzed cost-benefits further

  • Delay investment completely until you see commercial value and demonstrated success

Whichever approach you take, Gartner Hype Cycles arm you with the information to see beyond the hype and make the right purchasing decision at the right time.