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Mastering the Hype Cycle: How to Choose the Right Innovation at the Right Time (Gartner) [Hardcover]

Jackie Fenn , Mark Raskino
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 16, 2008
It happens over and over again. Some innovation (a new product, a management trend) comes along that captures the public's imagination. Everybody joins the parade with great fanfare and high expectations. This "next big thing" promises to transform the companies that adopt it -- and inflict great peril on those that don't.

Then, when the innovation fails to deliver as promised immediately, everyone starts bailing out. Investments are wasted; stock prices plunge; disillusionment sets in.

It doesn't have to be this way. In Mastering the Hype Cycle, Jackie Fenn and Mark Raskino explain what drives this pattern and how your company can avoid its potential dangers. By understanding the hype cycle, you can ride it more skillfully -- timing your investment decisions so that the innovations you adopt stand the best chance of succeeding in the long-term.

Drawing on company examples and Gartner's proven STREET (Scope, Track, Rank, Evaluate, Evangelize, Transfer) framework, the authors show how to orchestrate the key steps in the innovation-adoption process -- from choosing which innovations to take on and when in their life cycle you should adopt, to paving the way for a successful introduction.

The hype cycle isn't going away. But this book arms you with the strategies you need to ride the crest of a new idea to success -- and steer clear of the trough of disillusionment.

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

What sounds like a New Age approach to public relations is in fact a bona fide approach to sustainable innovation, and researchers Fenn and Raskino promote a framework that will enable companies (and their heads of marketing/research and development) to determine and support the success of new products and services. One of the most telling examples early on is the contrast between British supermarket retailers Safeway and Tesco in the debut of customer-loyalty cards: the former, abandoning it after four or so years; the latter, changing its approach to business based on the card’s data—and, by the way, realizing significant growth. Part of the success, underscore the authors, lies in the company’s perseverance to an idea with merit; other contributing factors include attention to performance, internal integration, a focus on ROI, and the concept’s market penetration. Yet the most telling form of successful innovation relies on adopting the “street” approach—Scope, Track, Rank, Evaluate, Evangelize, Transfer—a way of business life best epitomized by Wal-Mart’s dedication to operational efficiencies and Nike’s design excellence. --Barbara Jacobs

About the Author

Jackie Fenn is a vice president and Gartner Fellow in Gartner Research. She focuses on innovation management issues and emerging technology trends. Mark Raskino is a vice president and Gartner Fellow in Gartner Research, specializing in emerging trends.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (September 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422121100
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422121108
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #895,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a quick intro July 10, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic already March 13, 2009
Format: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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3.0 out of 5 stars Decent content delivered rather poorly August 22, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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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