are the phases of hype that markets go through when new innovations come to market. Having lived through a few significant technology hype cycles now, I’ll tell you that if you look carefully you’ll see these same kinds of cycles everywhere. I started seeing this pattern in so many places that I realized it isn't just a technology or business thing. I noticed I was personally experiencing multiple hype cycles every week across different projects in my life. Reliably they would always follow the same curve: this will be the best thing ever, oh wait it’s really hard, ok maybe it’s fine (not the best thing ever, but also not terrible). A few examples:
1. I should work on project W
2. I should go on vacation to place X
3. I should do home renovation project Y
4. I should learn a new language Z
Often when I have an idea for a new project I should work on, I’ll initially be exuberant and have really high expectations. Then I'll hit some snag or challenge and get demoralized. Many times I'll just give up at that point. When I power through I gradually get to a happy plateau.
Being aware of the hype cycle of emotion is the first step to managing it. For me, journaling has been hugely helpful. Here's one crazy simple exercise you can do to manage your own expectations and realize where you are in this totally natural emotional cycle. Every day or week, score your excitement for an idea/project on a 5-star scale and have one sentence on why you're excited, and one sentence on your pessimism. If you do this regularly on a project you’ll likely see literally this same hype cycle chart show up. Doing this helped me internalize how this cycle of emotion is normal and helped me even out my highs and lows of the curve. Now challenges won’t overly demoralize me, and my optimism is tempered with some caution, knowing they’ll be challenges ahead.
Want to try out that same exercise I do? I built a crazy simple free template you can use.
Copy this doc
from the table below, then fill in your own emotion and start charting your own curve.