The hype cycle is a very interesting phenomenon. It’s generally used for technical purposes. It helps define the level adoption of a new technology or service, but it can just as easily translate into other areas.
The hype cycle starts with a trigger, moves to a tremendous amount of interest because of inflated expectations, but then when those expectations aren’t realized in short order, then people start feeling highly disillusioned at the initial promises, but the tech or event in question doesn’t stop.. The people who are working in that field continue to plug along. Step one leads to step two, eventually step 87 could never have been predicted because it’s so far from the initial promise. I was once told that everyone overestimates the impact of technology in the short term, but under estimates it for the short term. That was a very early version of the hype cycle. A good example (although not tech as we think of it today) is air conditioning. Short term belief about air conditioning was that your house would stay cool, nobody envisioned Las Vegas becoming what it is today as a direct result of the existence of air conditioning. High speed always on ubiquitous internet got people porn really fast and killed XXX Theaters and video rentals. But who saw Indian outsourcing killing hundreds of thousands of American Jobs?
Eventually things settle out and people get used to the new normal. It takes time, and everyone has forgotten the promises and disappointments from the early years.
I think with a little twist on the theory we can apply this type of methodology to our work environment and career choices:
Should you make an early move? Investing in a cert, investing in a degree, taking a shot at a job in a growth industry is always very risky. You could make millions with stock options and being in the right place at the right time or you could be out of work in weeks.
Is a moderate approach appropriate? Moderate is good when you consider your job because of all of the different needs associated with life. If you don’t have highly stable medical, or a fully funded retirement package, should you move? Probably not until you can feel those things are mostly assured. If you have them, then the early move is a good idea… if you can.
CATCH 22 Alert: The people who have these things: Retirement + Healthcare tend to be much further along in their careers, possibly retired, yet the ones who are recruited into these industries tend to be younger workers who employers feel are much more open minded to the new tech and willing to work much longer hours.
Should you wait for further maturation? This is really depending on one thing: Your toleration for risk
This is a very interesting way of thinking about everything new, definitely an area I’m excited to explore in the future as we discuss the topics of this blog. I guess you could say I’m really hyped about it! 🙂
Inspired by Hype Cycle Research Methodology | Gartner Inc..