August 22, 2009

Gartner Hype Cycle – what an innovator needs to know...

If you ever wondered what all the analysts and researchers do – here is one example. Attached is an image of the Hype Cycle published by Gartner – this talks about how a new technology or idea actually becomes a mass use product.

Each idea goes through an initial trigger and then you have people talking about it as the next big thing. Everyone’s talking about it then and people start expecting a lot from it. This is the phase of ‘Inflated Expectations’. Once it reaches a peak, there is a steep fall and there is disillusionment all around.

The innovation has to survive this phase and then slowly there is refinement and best practice development in the products/ services. This is when a large number of users actually start coming in.

As an innovator, you have to ensure that your idea survives through these expectation peaks and troughs. You also have to ensure that you maintain your lead during the slope of enlightenment and plateau of productivity.

We have had numerous instances where the innovator is not the one who finally makes the most of the money/ gets the market share of the product. It is apparent that innovating is one thing and making it a successful business venture is different.

So, if you are looking for the next big idea, look at the hype cycle for Emerging Technologies published in August 2009. This will also tell you what to expect in the coming years.

Enjoy it or even make money out of it! If you are looking at investments in these technologies, look at this matrix here.

Source: Image published in Times of India Bangalore edition. For more reports, you need to subscribe to Gartner’s reports (

August 15, 2009

The 'burden' of triumph

I was recently reading an article after the death of Michael Jackson.

The title phrase is quite a statement in itself. If you have closely watched any performer and especially their sequel performance, you would not miss the very apparent pressure of success. This may be visible for the entertainment industry, but the rest of the population is not spared from it either.

There are many shows, performances that you like. If these teams/ groups are asked to produce a sequel, it is most challenging. In the first show, there might have been something innovative, different and an element of surprise – but for the team to maintain the innovation and element of surprise is very difficult – if not rare.

The biggest casualty in this process is the innocent touch that is lost. And ironically, this might have been the biggest factor that might have made you like it in the first place. Whether it is a movie sequel – Matrix, Harry Potter – or artists like Michael Jackson, the pressure to consistently outperform your own benchmarks is visible.

If you have watched one of the ongoing reality show – India’s got Talent, you would have noticed how many of the semi finalists were not able to beat their own benchmark that was set in the audition rounds. We will have to now see if the finalists can now outperform two of their recent performances.

One of the groups that are getting into the final as a favorite is the Prince group. Guess one of the reasons is the effortlessness in their second performance. Worth a watch – am linking both the videos here.
Audition and Semis

The pressure that academically brilliant students/ winning sports persons/ top notch employees or corporate go through is equally high – only not visible to everyone and could manifest as internal stress. And in all this competitiveness, no one really tells you how to handle this ‘burden’.

Guess we can consider ourselves lucky to have the inspiration of Sri Sri to not only be successful but also enjoy the success!!!