Cutting through the tech hype, for better business decisions

There's a lot of, um, hype in the tech world. How can you spot a good bet from the next product to fail dramatically?

The tech world seems addicted to hype. Google glasses! The next big thing – until they’re not. So, what is next? AR? VR? Autonomous cars? Drone delivery?

Navigating this landscape is crucial to actually making sensible business decisions. Invest in a new tech to support your products too early, and you’re dead. Invest too late: you’re dead. So reading through the hype cycle, and making smart decisions about what’s good for you and your customers is critical.

Alan Patrick of the Broadstuff blog has long been one of the more… sceptical commenters on tech. He’s provided a handy guide to separating the tech wheat from the chaff:

(i) It uses the hype tech du jour (aka AI or IoT today) – hype tech is typically nowhere near the promised capability of the Hype, so is a good sign of impending failure

(ii) It requires “this time it will be different” economics or business models or human behaviour or regulation

(iii) Or similarly, the previous “real life” incarnation works nothing like this new thing (eg Uber is going to revolutionise the economics of the previously wafer thin margin taxi industry)

(iv) It mangles some fundamental law of physics or engineering (you’d be surprised how many do…drone delivery for eg)

(v) It goes against/arbitrages some regulatory or legal principle which you know will eventually be slapped on it.

And there’s plenty more where that came from.

Plus, of course, we’ll be continuing to do our best to beat the hype both here on the blog, and, of course, in Hamburg, come September

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Image by elizaIO and used under a Creative Commons licence