Posted by: jhager | November 17, 2017

The Hype Cycle, Tesla, and VR: Who is it Good for?

People are desperate for the new, and willing to overlook almost any current issue if the future seems bright enough. Take two recent tech news items, one from China, and one from the US. On Kickstarter, a small Chinese company that has never brought a VR product to market raised 2100% of their kickstarter goal for a VR headset. In the US, Tesla revealed its 2nd Gen Roadster, and an all-electric Class 8 Semi truck to great fanfare, despite being months (if not years) behind on delivering on their first major consumer product, the Model 3. Tesla seems able to redirect the public’s attentions to the “peak of expectations” of each new class of products they promise, then jump to the next peak of hype for the next product without fully (or at all) delivering on the promises of the last hype cycle they generated. 1200px-Gartner_Hype_Cycle.svg.png

As they seesaw from home roofs to village battery banks to spaceships to subways to heavy trucks they grab massive attention, but the bounce back into the “plateau of productivity” eludes Tesla on almost all it’s projects.

Around VR the hype is even worse. To trust an unproven company to deliver a next-gen product relying on immature technology at a rock-bottom price is an investment no single rational entity would make. But not only did the crowd do this, they did it to the tune of 21 times the amount the cash requested. Is this good for business, the consumer, or tech in general?

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