Alex Steer

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Making money on the Hype Cycle

285 words

If you work in technology, you know the Gartner Hype Cycle - their superb rundown of what's hot, what's busted, and what's valuable in the field of emerging technology.

They've just released the latest update, and here it is:

Gartner hype cycle - technology

So how do I feel about the fact that what I do - big data and content analytics - is sliding down into the 'trough of disillusionment'?

I couldn't be happier.

The peak of the cycle is where investor money pours in, startups proliferate, sales pitches are made, forecasts are inflated, and lies are told.

But the trough - where people are let down, angry and disillusioned - is where businesses grow, and where money is made.

If you survive long enough to make it to the point where people are fed up hearing about your industry, you've probably learned a lot along the way. About how to put yourself in your client's shoes; about respect for existing ways of working; about the limitations of what you can do; about the importance of a good team; about what really makes a difference to the ways a business operates. If you're still around once the hype money has flowed out, there's a chance you'll make it.

My bet is that the next year will see the quiet extinction of a lot of marketing data/analytics startups that never found a business model. The ones that survive will be the ones that spent the last few years doing more listening than talking, and that are now answering useful questions that businesses have been asking since before big data was a thing.

# Alex Steer (11/08/2014)