Is the Cloud the Next Facebook in the Hype Cycle?

My first post on Huffington Post as appeared at

We’ve all seen technologies that get overhyped — built up beyond the reality of their impact. Some have argued that Facebook was overhyped, hence the reason for its current stock troubles. Inversely, others argue that Facebook has become so embedded in our lives that it is still underestimated compared to its long-term impact. I’ve often been asked if the Cloud is heading down the same path, and whether we think Cloud technology is overhyped. After all, the buzz around industry giants like Apple’s iCloud and Google Drive entering the Cloud market is loud, and that feels risky to some.

To set the stage let me first define what the Cloud is. The Cloud is a relatively new term for what we have been doing increasingly since the invention of the Web — using Internet technologies to do things (such as run applications or store data) that we previously did locally on our PCs. Companies such as SugarSync and Dropbox are providing tools that accelerate this shift through technology that more easily lets you use the Cloud in your daily life. And now that large players such as Google, Apple and Microsoft are entering the fray and imitating the innovators, there is more discussion about whether the Cloud is reaching the height of the hype cycle.

However, the power the Cloud brings to our daily life is actually quite understated. Yes, the excitement is great — but the reality is even greater. What we are seeing is the intersection and synergy of societal trends magnified by technological forces that, in a virtuous cycle, enhance those societal trends.

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