Holiday Seasons and the Hype Cycle

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Holiday Seasons and the Hype Cycle

A Zone Leader compares the Garter Hype Cycle with how one processes the holiday seasons over the years.

· Agile Zone ·
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Happy Holidays!

The Holiday Season has once again arrived.

For what will be my last article of the 2019 calendar year, I thought I would compare the Gartner Hype Cycle to how we process the yearly holiday seasons as individuals.

You may also like: Why I Am Thankful for Agile

Gartner Hype Cycle

According to Wikipedia, the Gartner Hype Cycle provides a graphical and conceptual presentation of the maturity of emerging technologies through five phases, as shown in the following graphic:

In the fifty-two years, I have been on this planet, I have experienced the holiday season for just as many years. While I cannot remember a portion of those really early years, I believe I have enough experience to apply the Hype Cycle to the holiday season.

Technology Trigger

When I think about the Technology Trigger and how it relates to the holiday season, I think of those early years when children discover the magic that is associated with the holidays.

The mind of a youngster continues to be filled with new traditions and excitement as they cannot wait for the season to arrive each year — building upon the prior year's experiences. Some examples include:

  • Reading a book about the holiday season.
  • Visiting Santa Claus and sending him your list of gift ideas.
  • Watching a holiday movie for the first time or attending a holiday production.

The Peak of Inflated Expectations

Within a period of time and an elapsed series of holiday experiences, the excitement begins to level off. While still very excited for the holiday season, the mind of the individual seems to have a solid understanding of the concepts associated with this very special time of the year.

Here the traditions are still respected and honored — still building upon the prior year's experiences.

  • The list continues to be sent to Santa Claus.
  • Watching a movie or attending a holiday production becomes part of the experience.
  • Become more involved in making the season better for others.

Trough of Disillusionment

There is that point when we come to understand the reality behind the holiday season, which is when things seem to bottom out in the view of the hype cycle. Perhaps, the time has come for some holiday traditions to no longer apply, which can lead to diminished value to the season.

In the mind of the individual, they often see those still at the prior levels of the hype cycle and must rely on past memories to appreciate the magic that has been lost on them.

Slope of Enlightenment

At this point in the Hype Cycle, the individual begins to truly grasp the concept that is better than to give than to receive. The focus migrates away from their personal satisfaction and more toward taking time to make the holiday experience magical for someone else.

At this point, the individual is not typically in the role of a parent, but more in a role where the happiness of others becomes the main priority.

Plateau of Productivity

Personally, I have been at this point in the Gartner Hype cycle with respect to the holiday season for several years. Basically, those in the Plateau of Productivity are helping to establish and maintain the holiday season tradition in others — most of the time with their own family.

Our oldest son is twenty this holiday season, our oldest daughter is about to turn nineteen and our youngest son is two years old. So we have a wide age range in our household.

At this point, we have seen our older two children process the Technology Trigger, Peak of Inflated Expectations, Trough of Disillusionment and Slope of Enlightenment phases. Where they are at this point, makes me so proud to be a part of their lives. They totally get the concept that it is better to give than to receive.

Our youngest son remains at the Technology Trigger phase, where I feel like he will be for quite a while. I could not be happier, because time simply raced by too quickly for the older two kids. We are truly blessed as a family!


In this last section of my last article of 2019, I want to wish each and every one of you the happiest of holidays this season. I truly appreciate your time in reading an article that I have published that might have crossed your path.

My hope is that 2020 begins a segment of your life where your goals, aspirations, and desires all blend together to yield a wonderful experience.

Have a really great day!

Further Reading

Why I'm Thankful for Web Dev

Why I Am Thankful for Java

Why I Am Thankful for DevOps

agile, christmas, gartner, holiday, hype cycle

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