That’s fine with me. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am curious and I don’t mind taking a few risks with my time in order to discover useful innovations. Like all innovative people or organizations, success requires a bit of risk taking. We see it with the most innovative companies, they spend millions and sometimes billions on risky endeavors. They know that many of them will fail and turn into a waste of time and money. They try to ensure efforts are focused, but failure is simply a cost of innovation. You will make mistakes often, but the payoff is great. As a entrepreneurial friend once told me 1 in 10 startups hit it big, so he keeps doing them, sometimes several at a time. Eventually he expects to hit it big.
The same goes with innovation and personal productivity. If one is willing to invest the time (that’s my case, because I don’t have millions or billions of dollars), some of those investments will pay off. Others will be a waste of some time.
As I was thinking it through today, I was taken by the simplicity of Gartner’s Hype Cycle curve. Gartner is famous at posting these hype cycles for various topics such as Social Software, Emerging Technologies, or Consumer Mobile Applications. They are so famous, there is even room for a Hype Cycle Parody piece by CIO columnist, Thomas Wailgum. His work from last summer was definitely tweet worthy.
So I thought, maybe I should paint a similar picture for my particular interest in technology. This is a fast moving cycle and will be quite different in 6 months. It also will not match your personal hype cycle since we are all drawn to different technologies for different reasons and priorities.
Anyway, I think you might find this interesting. You will find some items where you relate, but I expect more often you will find differences. That’s fine. That’s how we learn. I look forward to hearing what is on your personal hype cycle and where it falls on the curve.
So here is the first ever Jim Worth Personal Technology Hype Cycle, January, 2011 edition:
Focus.com, MacBook Air, iPad 2, iPhone 5, Ubuntu Linux, Tumblr, SCVNGR
Peak of Inflated Expectations: Instagram, Quora, Pandora, Pulse, Posterous, Wordpress
Slipping down the slope: EA’s Hot Pursuit, Win 7, Google Reader, Eventbrite, Barcamp
Trough of Disillusionment: Yammer, Foursquare, Gowalla, Angry Birds, Ustream
Slope of Enlightenment: Instapaper, About.me, Kindle, Newsgator,
Plateau of Productivity: iPad, Twitter, iPhone 3gs, PBworks, Google Analytics, Blogger, Socialcast, Google Groups, MyWi hotspot