Gartner's hype cycle turned upside down to assess Brexit

Brexit will hurt, but less than predicted once we reach the Plateau of Pragmatism

Gartner veep and fellow Mark Raskino has applied the analyst firm's famed Hype Cycle to Brexit.

Gartner's Hype Cycle plots technologies' fortunes, asserting that after birth they ascend to a “peak of inflated expectations” before descending into a “trough of disillusionment.” The market eventually figures out what a technology is really good for and it ascends a “slope of enlightenment” before reaching the “plateau of productivity” upon which mainstream organisations sit comfortably while reaping the rewards of a mature idea.

Raskino reckons that model doesn't apply to Brexit because it's a case of negative hype, but does think the hype cycle thinking applies. So he inverted the hype cycle to look like this.

Brexit anti-hype cycle

You are HERE. Where HERE equals take your best guess

In Raskino's take on Brexit things start as “market hysteria gets very bad – the effect of social contagion and press amplification. But then it turns out the sky isn’t falling quite as quickly and severely as first feared. Stock markets are doing OK. UK unemployment is relatively low. The pound is down but not at dollar parity as some suggested. So a lot of rational reality sets in. Some might think the whole episode was a false fire drill – like Y2K, and they might then ignore it too much.”

“But in the end, Brexit probably does have an moderate enduring negative value expectation effect in the minds of the many. A ‘low lander’ plateau is likely. There could be a sustained slightly negative global business perception – the idea that the UK outside of its closest major regional trading block just doesn’t quite make sense.”

Just as Gartner urges technology buyers not to be swept away by early enthusiasm for technology, Raskino reckons this is no time to respond to Brexit at a time of uncertainty.

“Hold your nerve and do not overreact to the massive negative hype,” he advises. “It will pass. Things will correct. They will probably over correct for a while. Then we will get to a settled view – that Brexit was indeed a negative for the UK economy – though not nearly as bad as first feared.” ®

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