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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innovation mastered, covering both success and challenges.
The number of books focusing on innovation is astounding and while most tell you to be innovative, few provide an executive guide for understanding the way innovation works and how to leverage that knowledge into results. Mastering the Hype Cycle focuses on the topic of innovations in the marketplace and provides executives an explanation and the decision-making tools to...
Published on September 28, 2008 by Mark P. McDonald

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a quick intro
This is a v.good summary. For those with a background in innovation it's a quick scan. For those new to the area, it's a basic intro to a tool that the Gartner group has been refining. While it is self contained, it points to their web site, particularly for examples outside of emerging technologies. While the volume hints at it, the authors do not really explain the real...
Published 14 months ago by tom abeles


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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innovation mastered, covering both success and challenges., September 28, 2008
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This review is from: Mastering the Hype Cycle: How to Choose the Right Innovation at the Right Time (Gartner) (Hardcover)
The number of books focusing on innovation is astounding and while most tell you to be innovative, few provide an executive guide for understanding the way innovation works and how to leverage that knowledge into results. Mastering the Hype Cycle focuses on the topic of innovations in the marketplace and provides executives an explanation and the decision-making tools to take advantage of the innovations. Mastering the Hype Cycle is recommended for three reasons.

First it is a business book, with extensive case study like explanations of how companies have dealt with the issue of innovating and creating something new. The book features the actual leaders talking about their experience - a real rarity in an innovation book.

Second, the book provides actionable advice in terms of assessment questions and application of those questions into real life situations. I can see how I would apply the ideas of this book by asking myself these questions.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly - the book addresses failure as well as success. Too many books on innovation talk about the breakthrough successes and never deal with the pitfalls or challenges.

This book is different and it is these three differences that deliver value to the reader. This is a book that I will come back to with each innovation initiative to understand where I am in the hype cycle and what I can do to win in the marketplace.

Fenn and Raskino argue that innovations move through the economy in waves following Hype Cycles. Their thesis is that companies who understand the behavior of an innovative idea like, CRM or BPRE, or innovative technology like wireless or RFID, will make better decisions and gain more value than those that do not. This idea is simple, but very powerful and the authors use it to address issues regarding when companies should invest in new ideas and technologies, how do they know when to stay the course, and what processes they should follow. All of these issues are dealt with in a structured way. (See chapter review at end)

A real strength of this book is its acknowledgement and leverage of other works from leaders such as Geoffrey Moore, Henry Chesbrough, Gary Hamel, Kaplan and Norton and others. This is rare in a book about innovation, where other authors often believe they invented the topic. Here Fenn and Raskino use these proven thought leaders to provide shape and depth to their arguments rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. Reading this book in conjunction with the Innovators Dilemma, Dealing with Darwin and Game Changer makes for a strong library covering this topic.

No book is perfect. Fenn and Raskino's use of some case studies and stories could have supported their arguement better. There were a few tools that were missing such as the use of the Analytic Hierarchy Process to rank new ideas. This is also a book the concentrates on decisions and processes for bringing innovations into the market, so it tends to deal with the technical issues and treats social issues like change adoption to a lesser degree. That is ok, as there are many books on change adoption and no need to repeat them here. These omissions are not signfiicant and do not limit the value of the book to the reader or the practioner.

Highly recommended for business executives looking to understand the market for new ideas and solutions, when to invest, and how to avoid the pitfalls of those investments. Recommended as well for CIOs and IT executives who often bring these new ideas to their peers. One suggestion for IT personnel is to read the book and then pass a copy onto the executive team with a focus on the non-tech parts of the book.

Detailed Review

Part 1: The Hype Cycle covers the first four chapters of the book and these form the basis "must read" parts of the book. In this first part, the authors not only describe the hype cycle but discuss how to apply this thinking based on real case examples and tools. This part is the required reading for the book.

Chapter 1: Hype Cycle Winners and Losers. This chapter explains the basics of the hype cycle, starting from The UK Safeway' experience with loyalty cards. The chapter then goes on to cover other cycles of market innovation and the observation that they follow a pattern.

Chapter 2: Behind the Hype Cycle. This chapter lays out the concept, structure, and application of the hype cycle idea in a clear and concise way that allows the latter chapters to focus on specific issues. This chapter talks about how the hype cycle works and why companies should understand its behavior.

Chapter 3: Hype Cycle Traps and Challenges. This is the gem of the book as it talks about the ugly side of innovation - when it does not work, is abandoned too early, etc. Fenn and Raskino highlight real challenges with adopting innovative ideas and technologies. These include:

Adopting too early
Giving up too soon
Adopting too late
Hanging on too long
Innovations falling out of the market
Innovations driven by fads rather than facts

These may all look like two sides of the same coin, but Fenn and Raskino do a good job of illustrating the unique aspects of each of these challenges.

Chapter 4: Hype Cycle Opportunities and Lessons. This chapter applies the pitfall lessons to the stages of the hype cycle. It goes into an appropriate level of detail about how each stage forms in the market and more importantly how companies can take advantage of these stages. The questions and criteria provided in this chapter give the reader the detail to apply what they know and understand to the ideas in this book.

Part 2: The STREET Process. This part concentrates on an enterprise process for innovation. Each chapter provides a focused discussion of how innovation and new ideas go from scoping through to transfer into the broader enterprise.

Chapter 5: What it Takes to Master the Hype Cycle. This chapter involves a discussion of the STREET process. This chapter ahs a few issues as it starts with an explanation of innovation in the Amish community - an interesting but somewhat confusing couple of pages that make the point that everyone needs a process for innovation. STREET stands for: Scope, Track, Rank, Evaluate, Evangelize, and Transfer. The remaining chapters in Part II talk about each stage.

Chapter 6: Scope--Establishing the Context for Innovation. This chapter addresses the fundamental challenge of how we focus our innovation attention. Fenn and Raskino present several tools for scoping and focusing the scoping effort. A real strength of this chapter is the author's use of multiple existing strategy management frameworks like value disciplines, balanced scorecards, etc. This demonstrates the adaptability and applicability of the STREET process to every enterprise.

Chapter 7: Track - Collecting the Innovation Candidates. This focused chapter discusses how to capture, categories and assess candidate ideas and technologies. It is short and focused as tracking enables the meatier processes of evaluating and adopting new ideas.

Chapter 8: Rank - Prioritizing Candidates. Analyzing the potential of new ideas and technologies is the focus of this chapter. This chapter covers multiple tools for ranking, providing the reader with different ways of looking at technology opportunities using financial, operational, and other criteria. The fact that the chapter does not tell you one way to rank technologies is a testament to the authors understanding of this work in the field. This is the hardest part of the innovation process and the authors provide ample examples and case studies to support this.

Chapter 9: Evaluate - Understanding Rewards and Risks. Risk is the enabler and killer of innovation and new ideas. Risk enables innovation by pointing to the potential for competitive advantage. It is also a killer in that it raises issues that reduce support for new ideas. The authors address this dichotomy with a focused approach and positioning proven practices such as prototyping, pilots, and sponsorship.

Chapter 10 Evangelize and Transfer - making it happen. Moving from idea to reality is a tricky business and one that is often particular to a company. This chapter concentrates on case studies to show how the process is done, rather than just providing prescriptive statements and plans.

Chapter 11: Future Hype Cycles. This concise chapter talks about the future of new ideas, innovations and the adoption of new hype cycles. It provides a fitting way to close on a book that is focused on delivering results from mastering change.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic already, March 13, 2009
This review is from: Mastering the Hype Cycle: How to Choose the Right Innovation at the Right Time (Gartner) (Hardcover)
Mastering the Hype Cycle. How to choose the right innovation at the right time. Jackie Fenn & Mark Raskino. 2008. ISBN 9781422121108. RocketBuilders has used the Gartner Hype Cycle many times to analyze a technology and applications. Having this book brings all ehe Gartner experience and view points together. It is actually two books. The first half, is abook about recognizing the Hype Cycle and what technology builders and innovators can (should) learn from this. The second half is for companies that want to innovate but want to be sure to get started when the Cycle is working for them. Others could use the book to help save stalled innovation projects. I especially enjoyed the examples and overall pragmatic style (utility) of this book. Check it out more at the book website, [...]
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understand the rise and fall (and settling) of new innovations..., October 31, 2008
This review is from: Mastering the Hype Cycle: How to Choose the Right Innovation at the Right Time (Gartner) (Hardcover)
It happens almost without fail for every new technology and innovation... A new idea becomes a hot buzzword destined to change the world. Then the euphoria bubble pops and no one wants anything to do with it. But over time, the core concepts become ingrained in the day-to-day flow of business, and reality finally emerges. This "hype cycle" is exactly what Jackie Fenn and Mark Raskino cover in their book Mastering the Hype Cycle: How to Choose the Right Innovation at the Right Time. Given their backgrounds at Gartner, they've seen this happen time and time again. For me, this solidifies one of those ideas I had that I was never quite able to put a finger on.

Contents:
Part 1 - The Hype Cycle: Hype Cycle Winners and Losers; Behind the Hype Cycle; Hype Cycle Traps and Challenges; Hype Cycle Opportunites and Lessons
Part 2 - The STREET Process: What It Takes to Master the Hype Cycle; Scope - Establishing the Context for Innovation; Track - Collecting the Innovation Candidates; Rank - Prioritizing the Candidates; Evaluate - Understanding Rewards and Risks; Evangelize and Transfer - Making It Happen; Future Cycles
Notes; Index; About the Authors

The goal in Mastering the Hype Cycle is to give organizations a way to assess new technologies and decide if and when to jump on board. For instance, the book opens with an example of the loyalty card market in the UK. Safeway, Tesco, and all the other major players jumped on board early while the cycle was in the uptick phase. But after laying down a solid foundation, Safeway's board started to sour on the idea when market analysts started to dismiss the idea of database marketing and its potential benefits. Many companies dropped the idea, including Safeway. Tesco however, the first mover in the trend, stuck it out and continued to experiment with the idea. That tenacity paid off with them becoming one of the largest retailers in the UK.

The hype cycle goes through a number of distinct phases. It all starts with an Innovation Trigger, something that's new in the industry. The hype rises to the point of the Peak of Inflated Expectations, when everyone predicts that the new "thing" will completely change the world. This is normally followed by the Trough of Disillusionment, when the hype doesn't live up to the reality, and people start to bail out. But over time, the Slope of Enlightenment and the Plateau of Productivity occur. This is where the technology or innovation is allowed to find its level of reality in the marketplace, and organizations start incorporating it into their business plans in a way that makes money. And if you think about it, this has been played out continuously, especially over the last decade. Internet [...] retailing, SOA, outsourcing, etc. It seems to happen every time.

Fenn and Raskino offer up a process by which organizations can assess these innovations and decide if and when they want to get involved. The STREET process makes a lot of sense. You decide what type of organization you are, and what level of risk you're prepared to take. Based on that, you can start to determine what new innovations might affect your business, as well as when it might be advisable to get on board. Too early, and you risk spending millions on something that doesn't catch on. Too late, and you risk getting left behind by the competition.

Granted, there's some element of "20-20 hindsight" here, in that there is no possible way to predict what will and won't stick, as well as when the optimal time to commit would be. But even understanding that the hype cycle exists puts you ahead of the game. Adding the formalized process of STREET to the mix dramatically increases your chances of not missing the boat (or putting out to sea before the boat is certified sea-worthy)...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a quick intro, July 10, 2013
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tom abeles (minneapolis, mn USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This is a v.good summary. For those with a background in innovation it's a quick scan. For those new to the area, it's a basic intro to a tool that the Gartner group has been refining. While it is self contained, it points to their web site, particularly for examples outside of emerging technologies. While the volume hints at it, the authors do not really explain the real depth and work needed to really fill out a proper analysis which is then back cast into the model. Unless the enterprise, be it gov't, non profit or corp has the fiscal and mgmt resources, one needs to decide where in the cycle to play from innovator to late adopters. Missing is a strong discussion of "scale", both of the height of the HYPE and the time scales, and whether there are discontinuities and non-linearities which impact on the analysis. Given our understanding of complex systems, the authors need to transcend their current model which, today is a weakened but basic metaphor.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Decent content delivered rather poorly, August 22, 2014
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It is useful. A lot of people talk about the hype cycle without fully understanding its implications, how to interpret it, or how to take action based in the information it conveys. This book helps overcoming shallow, futile and misguided talk. However, it can be tedious to read, since it sometimes has an overdose of lengthy "real world" examples. It is ok to briefly exemplify an idea for the sake of clarity, but when it interrupts the explanation of concepts, it actually becomes an obstacle. Besides this, the Hype Cycle is a product by Gartner. That is totally respectable, and I think it is a great contribution by Gartner. Nevertheless the selling discourse is sometimes rather obvious throughout the book, which can become annoying.
Decent content, but failed in delivery. It is not a waste of time, but it is unnecesarily unpleasant.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth a book - worth a chapter, March 31, 2011
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This review is from: Mastering the Hype Cycle: How to Choose the Right Innovation at the Right Time (Gartner) (Hardcover)
The framework is a variation of the S curve, with a hype spike towards the beginning. But that's about it. How they manage to fill over 200 pages worth of writing is credit to Gartner analysts. They can write. Most of it is repetitive once you have read the 5 pages describing the cycle. I bought the book expecting examples of the cycle applied to various industries, technologies, perhaps even geographies. Nothing. I guess you need to subscribe to Gartner research for that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A (Slightly) Dated Book, but Still a Great Concept, May 21, 2014
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This review is from: Mastering the Hype Cycle: How to Choose the Right Innovation at the Right Time (Gartner) (Hardcover)
Jackie Fenn's development of the "Hype Cycle" is certainly something that draws attention each year the updated cycle is published. This particular book, dated 2008, is now pretty "ancient" in technology terms, but the text explains the background and use of the Hype Cycle, and remains of great interest to anyone who is a technology watcher or has to make decisions of technology purchases for organizations. Because the annual Hype Cycle Report is quite expensive, this is a great entry point for anyone wishing to be introduced to the concept at a very low price.

Fenn's Hype Cycle covers five phases of the technology life cycle:

1. Technology Trigger
2. Peak of Inflated Expectations
3. Trough of Disillusionment
4. Slope of Enlightenment
5. Plateau of Productivity

The cycle is depicted as a graphical equation upon which the various technologies are placed to categorize them into each of these five stages. In spite of the criticisms present on any such technology representation, the Hype Cycle is a convenient way to map technologies over time and to gain a sense of where each resides within its own life cycle.

Highly recommended for any technologist.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mastering the Hype Cycle, May 28, 2012
This review is from: Mastering the Hype Cycle: How to Choose the Right Innovation at the Right Time (Gartner) (Hardcover)
Everybody's talking about it - the next best thing that's going to reorder industries, catapult early adopters to the top and make millions for those on the ground floor. How do you know when to hop on the innovation bandwagon or stay on the sidelines? You can't rely on your gut to choose which innovation presents a genuine opportunity, but the well-considered "hype cycle" can make a difference. Technology researchers Jackie Fenn and Mark Raskino devised this model to help you determine which innovations to adopt, when to adopt them and how to integrate them into your business. This rubric takes you beyond the buzz to help you make well-reasoned, thoughtful choices. getAbstract suggests this useful manual to anyone making decisions about new products and services, technological breakthroughs, creative processes or bold ideas.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Good, August 5, 2013
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This review is from: Mastering the Hype Cycle: How to Choose the Right Innovation at the Right Time (Gartner) (Hardcover)
The language of the book is very boring
Very low content.
Waste of time and money.
DONT recommend this book
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