Xing is a company and social network that has been around since late 2003. It has gone through many successful ups and also a few downs while trying to be a competing network for professionals outside of German speaking countries, as well as inside. This post is going to go over where exactly Xing falls on Gartner’s Hype Cycle.
Gartner’s Hype cycle is a graphical representation of where a technology is when it comes to visibility over time. This representation shows the technologies maturity in its industry. There are five different phases when it comes to a technologies life cycle. Those five phases are: Technology Trigger, Peak of Inflated Expectations, Trough of Disillusionment, Slope of Enlightenment, and the Plateau of Productivity. Technology Trigger is a potential breakthrough that kicks everything off. At this point there is usually no product that exist. Peak of Inflated Expectations are the early publicity stories that produce a record of success but those are joined by failures. Trough of Disillusionment is the turning point where interest falls from failed experiments. This point can be the end to many technologies. Slope of Enlightenment is when there is hope on the horizon but companies still stay cautious. Finally, Plateau of Productivity is when the technology goes mainstream.
Now, where does Xing fit on this chart. We can quickly scratch off, technology trigger, peak of inflated expectations, and trough of disillusionment from the list. Xing has definitely already been through those in its life cycle. This leaves us with the last two. So the answer for them I believe is…both. But let me explain. I believe they are located in the Plateau of Productivity in German speaking countries because they are definitely mainstream. In Germany, it is still the number one business professional networking site although LinkedIn has taking over everywhere else in the world. It has found its purpose in that country and everyone uses it.
As far as outside of central Europe and the three main German speaking countries, I believe XIng is located on the Slope of Enlightenment. The reasoning for this is that it still has a lot of work to do in the world. It is one of the top 5 business social networking sites, but people in the business world, globally, just do not know it yet. There are also bigger competitors that are fighting with for members. So as far as the world goes, they have to continue pushing to make their brand understood.
All in all, Gartner’s Hype cycle is a great tool. It allows one to see where their companies are in their life cycle. For more information on hype cycle, and maybe where a technology is on it, click here.