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Revelation and Hype Cycles

Part 1 - Gartner Group and Hype Cycles

March 19, 2010

This is from something that I actually started about 7 years ago. That would be two churches before where I am now - and a whole lot of growth later. But - when my wife & I were cleaning up the garage the other day, I saw some of the old stuff and it got me thinking. Then I was cleaning up some stuff off my old computer and came across some more of it.

Anyway - now I can't let go of it, so it's time to get it all out - kind of start over - and see where it goes.

The key to the whole thing is this diagram:

For those of you in the Information Technology field, maybe you recognize this little diagram. Something like it may very well exist in other areas too, but this is where I got it from.

There's a technology consulting / advising company called the Gartner Group - and they use this thing to talk about the life cycle of products in the field. It's called the hype cycle and it was a really big deal when it first came out back in 1995. Now, there's even an entry in Wikipedia for it. The introduction from Wikipedia says:

Since 1995, Gartner has used hype cycles to characterize the over-enthusiasm or "hype" and subsequent disappointment that typically happens with the introduction of new technologies.[2] Hype cycles also show how and when technologies move beyond the hype, offer practical benefits and become widely accepted. According to Gartner, hype cycles aim to separate the hype from the reality, and enable CIOs and CEOs to decide whether or not a particular technology is ready for adoption.

Now you may be wondering - so what does this have to do with God, let alone Revelation? And anyway - why should I care? Excellent question! (If you asked it. If not - why not? Remember - it's good to question! It's necessary to make sure you are looking for the correct God!)

Anyway - here are some of the names from the Bible that should make you interested in this hype cycle:

Intrigued? Just in case there's even the slightest doubt about who this is - here's one more:

Wow! Jesus is interested in the hype cycle? Who knew? Since Gartner thought they came up with the idea, guess they didn't know. At least I don't remember ever hearing them give Him credit for it when I was at any of the presentations - or in any of their documents that I read. And yet - it's in the Bible. It's in Revelation. And it's part of the reason that I find this book so fascinating. It's such a great study of human behavior - how so many of us have this incredible knack to miss what should be obvious. And it's now new. Revelation was written by John - some years after Jesus returned to Heaven - on the island of Patmos. It's a beautiful island - and the view is awesome from the top - although absolutely nothing can be seen from inside the cave. And it is a tiny little cave. I was there many years ago - and I have to say it's really cool to actually be at the place where my favorite book was given to John by God Himself. Awesome.

Anyway - back to the hype cycle. When you look at it from the human behavioral point of view - it makes sense that the hype cycle and Revelation would have so much in common. After all - while Gartner presumes to know people in the IT field very well - who knows more about all of us than the One who created us? (Answer: no one.)

So stay tuned - go for a little stroll through the world of the hype cycle and us (people). See where you fit in. See where you want to fit in. If you're like me, you'll never look at these things the same way again. I was quite amazed at how something I used so much at work actually described all of us and our approach to God - something devised by people to describe behavior in one very technical field - and yet one parallels exactly the words that Jesus Himself used in the final Book of the Bible. Awesome.