A sonnet Violante bids me write,
Such grief I hope never again to see,
They say a sonnet’s made of fourteen lines
Lo and behold, before this line go three.
This is how Lope de Vega’s ingenious response to his professor Violante begins, and this is how we wanted to begin this piece, not to try to match these masterful words, but rather because of the same feeling we have of finding ourselves in a predicament.
Because making engineers write in a non-binary language is quite a challenge.
So let’s get on with it; but don’t get your hopes up that we’ll be talking about literature!
As an electronic engineer who we are, were going to speak to you about technology. Yes, that ethereal thing that surrounds us, accosts us, and affects all aspects of our day-to-day lives, and perhaps even frightens us more and more. Am I right?
Let me explain something to you. Roy Amara, deceased futurist, researcher, scientist and past president of The Institute for the Future, said: “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.”
The truth is that imagination and emotion are human factors that cause this increased expectation when it comes to innovations, but uncertainty and the passage of time reduce our interest and the impact of the change.
Back in 1995, Gartner, an American research and analysis company completed a report that attempted to graphically express the inflated enthusiasm and subsequent disillusionment that regularly occurs with the introduction of new technologies.
This report became a benchmark that is widely used by the most cutting-edge companies when it comes to measuring a technology’s maturity.
The so-called Gartner Hype Cycle shows the typical progression of an emerging technology in visual form, from initial over-blown enthusiasm to its consolidation on the market.
Over the years, a greater level of detail has been incorporated in this chart, but in essence, the information corresponds to the different phases shown abo
- The Technology Trigger.
We live in a media environment that is focused on events, where we are assaulted with innovations, and where in many cases the news catapults interest beyond reality.
- The Peak of Inflated Expectations.
In this second part, where uncertainty is at its highest, the technology’s position is conditioned more by the media’s glorification than by its true maturity. As trials are carried out, and prototypes and practical applications are produced, the technology continues through its cycle until reaching its peak of maximum credibility.
- The Trough of Disillusionment.
Technologies enter the cycle of disillusionment when they do not meet the initial inflated expectations, or when deadlines are pushed back. Some technologies even disappear at this stage.
- The Slope of Enlightenment.
Even when the media fervour has died away, some technologies continue at a rhythm in which their developers are able to strengthen them and demonstrate their benefits and practical potential.
- The Plateau of Productivity.
The technology reaches the productivity plateau when its benefits are widely demonstrated and accepted.
Not all technologies travel through the cycle at the same speed, and their progress with each passing year constitutes an important factor to be taken into account when defining strategies. If you are curious to see how we use this tool at IKOR, we will review what it showed us for 2016 in upcoming posts.