Let's talk about trends

One factor for creating a successful product is the ability to anticipate future need or to predict growing markets. Your gut feeling can be an indicator. Data-driven approaches may be the better choice for most of us. Here is a selection of sites to get started:

When talking about trends and predictions, it is hard to ignore the annual Gartner Hype Cycle, a tool to represent the maturity, adoption, and social application of specific technologies. The most famous incarnation is the Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, but there are also specific ones for retail, marketing, transportation, artificial intelligence, and many more.

As there are more than 20 issues of the Hype Cycle, it is interesting to see how reliable the predictions are and how specific topics developed over the years. Have a look:

  • 8 Lessons from 20 Years of Hype Cycles - "What I take away from my analysis of these Hype Cycles is not just how difficult it is to make predictions, and how much wasted effort goes into technologies that doesn't tend to work, but also how exciting and wondrous is the progress that we've made in technology."
  • The Gartner Hype Cycle over the years - Conclusion: You have to do your own work. The Hype Cycle is a great graphic, and a useful visualization. But it is a lousy predictor.
  • A Quarter Century of Hype - 25 Years of the Gartner Hype Cycle - A presentation of several novel ways to visualize 25 years of the Gartner Hype Cycle. The goal is to demonstrate how one's understanding of complex information can benefit greatly from viewing the data from a fresh perspective.

This post originally appeared in Basic Problem issue #10.

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