By Diana Gershman
Newton saw it. Gartner Group made it into a philosophy that even now terrorizes the tech market. It is known simply as the “Hype Cycle.”
The short explanation of Gartner’s theory is that something triggers a massive frenzy over a particular tech item but eventually the “hype” (or publicity) fizzes as consumers grow disillusioned about the item’s value and appeal. Sales plateau as the hype dies out. That is the landscape of the world’s tech market.
Will this happen to technology’s current fad: social media sites?
Looking at the history of invention, the “hype” usually dies out when something better turns the corner. For example, Blu-ray and online movies have practically eviscerated the market for DVDs. And in 2009, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings predicted that in two years DVDs would lose their top spot in the company’s video distribution. Ironically, not two decades ago, DVDs stole the market for cassette tapes. Call it the nature of the beast.
So where does that leave social media?