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๐Ÿ”ด Timing technology push and market pull for incubation programs

One of the most requested frameworks I often have from corporate customers is how Gartner's hype and innovation diffusion work together. To my knowledge, this is weirdly never discussed. So despite this summer's heat waves here goes...
๐Ÿ”ด Timing technology push and market pull for incubation programs
Photo by Mark Tegethoff / Unsplash

Discussing innovation frameworks is always walking a tight rope. It's about remembering what the model should help you with while not getting too enamored with it that you start trusting it too much. Models and frameworks are crutches. They provide utility, but you should never forget what the utility is and not try to push them beyond that.

Now that I got this out of the way, let's discuss two frameworks (well, three, really), how they combine, and the utility of understanding this.

Quick disclaimer: I'm not going to explain in detail each framework, as I believe you should have some basic knowledge of them already (if not, links are provided).

Roger and Moore's diffusion of innovation

One of the oldest innovation frameworks is probably Everett Roger's diffusion of innovation back in 1962, which categorized the semantics of early adopters, laggards, etc. This framework also was the first theorization of how when an innovation has been adopted up to a point, it reaches critical mass and becomes self-sustained, eventually spreading to everyone.

And this is how Roger described an innovation going from zero to full market penetration in an S-wave:

Roger's DIFFUSION OF INNOVATION: How an innovation penetrates the market and moves from innovators to early adopters, early and then late majority (the % are cumulative market adoption).

The notion of a "chasm" was much later introduced (in 2014!) by the brilliant Geoffrey Moore in his seminal Crossing The Chasm. Moore explained that for innovation to go from the early adopters to the early majority, there is a critical non-continuity as these two adjacent demographics think, value, and buy an innovation with entirely different criteria and mindsets (this is true by the way, both for B2B and B2C). Everett S-wave is not continuous, there's a chasm right at the critical step of an innovation possibly going mainstream.

As you presented above, this framework is largely a solid take on how Market Pull happens for innovation from the tiniest part of the market to eventually everyone.

Gartner's hype cycle

Another empirical framework introduced by the consulting firm Gartner is the Technology Hype Cycle. This one is about how investors and markets feel and get excited about the potential of an innovation. It doesn't describe who's buying the innovation step-by)-step as in the previous framework, but as much interest is expressed about it. And sadly, these are two things vastly different, as most innovations don't deliver what is initially promised to cause a constant collective interest collapse before this technology finds its place in the market (with much, much less excitation overall):

Gartner's HYPE CYCLE with technology push at the origin of hype.

You need to remember that this is somehow the opposite of Roger's framework, and Garter illustrates how Technology Push happens with this tremendous momentum at first and then a sudden deflation.

Roger, Moore, and Gartner are in a boat...

You probably see where I'm going with these two frameworks. Yes?

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