‘Hype’ is over-hyped David 10 Oct 2005

28 comments Latest by JF

Excitement of all kinds seem to be uniformly tagged as ‘hype’ these days — unless you share the excitement. Maybe some of the hype is just about one person liking a product, concept, or company and saying so? Does the mere fact that a recommendation happens online constitute hyping?

I’ve never quite felt that the word was a good fit for something anyone could try out. To me, hype is better reserved for extravagant praise of things that doesn’t exist yet.

So when Sony talks about the PS3 being “10 times faster than a home computer” without qualifying faster on what and what constitutes a home computer, that’s hype. When someone says that they really like Firefox and that its more resilient to spyware than Internet Explorer, that’s just a recommendation.

28 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Eric 10 Oct 05

David write:

When someone says that they really like Firefox and that its more resilient to spyware than Internet Explorer, thats just a recommendation.

That’s a straw man. Who would call that statement hype?Big multiplication factors (e.g., “10x”), superlatives (e.g., “best”), and many adjectives (e.g., “incredible”) are typical components of hype.

Is 37signals getting a little defensive now that people are regularly pointing out the hype in their comments to SvN?

ken 10 Oct 05

Yeah, but did you realize that Firefox is 10 times faster than IE, too.

:)

Steve O 10 Oct 05

You make a good point about praise of things that don’t exist yet. Seems to be the trend lately, along with “sign up to find out when my shiny new AJAX app is released.”

cypherpuke 10 Oct 05

Presumably David just upset that people are pointing out Ruby on Rails is overhyped.

Things that exist can be overhyped. The difference between hype and a recommendation is exaggeration, either in content or volume. If Ruby on Rails is great, but 100 people start talking about how awesome it is, then it’s overhyped, because it’s just great and not super-awesome.

Douglas 10 Oct 05

@cypherpuke: 100 people making recommendations isn’t overhyping, that’s buzz.

Wyatt 10 Oct 05

37signals’ products are overhyped, along with AJAX in general.

Matt 10 Oct 05

Hype is when buzz and popular opinion becomes a substitute for individuals critically evaluating a product or an idea based on its merit alone (and not on what everyone else is saying).

Hype (it was called religion then) is responsible for ideas like the “the sun revolves around the earch” perpetuating far longer than they should have based on available empirical evidence.

Dave Simon 10 Oct 05

Firefox is 1,000,000 times better than I.E. I’ll dig up a chart to prove it, sometime when I have time.

The funny thing about a PS3 being 10 times faster than a home computer is that I don’t care. What I want to know about a console is are the games going to be good.

I know the games will look better, be longer, have smarter AI, etc. But will they have better stories, better characters, and so on?

I recently went back and played Super Mario Bros. on the NES. Old school. And it was still entertaining. Sure, it’s a simple side scroller with sprites, but the music is fun and catches the mood, and it is just fun to play. Sometimes 10 times as fast doesn’t mean 10 times the fun.

Sony can wake me up when the PS3 has a game as good, innovative, and simply fun as Super Mario 64. Now that was a launch title.

P.S. This post was easily 10 times better than all of yours! ;)

Mike Rundle 10 Oct 05

I disagree when people say that 37s stuff is overhyped. It’s not as though JF and Co. are telling every single blogger to talk about Writeboard and Backpack for months before they’re released, it’s just the byproduct of having a successful software company. As soon as there is the possibility of something new coming out, everyone who is semi-interested talks about it, and they may or may not talk positively. That doesn’t mean it’s 37signals’ fault, it just means that lots of people scrutinize what they do.

Also, it’s not “hype” when people are excited about something and feel like talking about it. We (9rules) are really psyched about the new version of our site coming soon, and we happen to talk about it once in awhile, but we’re not trying to hype it up — we just happen to be genuinely excited and want to share that excitement.

I totally agree with Douglas and Matt about the difference between hype and buzz. There may be a hell of a lot of buzz surrounding all that 37signals does but you can’t blame them: cool apps with great UIs generate buzz no matter who you are.

Holy Cow 11 Oct 05

“Over-hyped” is wrong usage. It’s redundant.

Jim Jeffers 11 Oct 05

I find it ironic that so many people leave comments about 37Signals’ hyping their products on their own blog! LOL. Even if you percieve it as hype you shouldn’t be surprised this is the company’s weblog. Are you arguing they shouldn’t be allowed to mention their own products on their own weblog. Ridiculous.

Jon Horn 11 Oct 05

I think everyone is just disappointed that this blog went from interesting design and usability discussions to discussions about how great 37s is. It’s getting a bit tired.

a cynic writes... 11 Oct 05

Hype is buzz about your competitor’s product.

Buzz is hype about your own product.

b cynic 11 Oct 05

I really like Writeboard and that its more resilient to spyware than Internet Explorer

Elliott 11 Oct 05

Jon Horn, Hit the nail on the head

“I think everyone is just disappointed that this blog went from interesting design and usability discussions to discussions about how great 37s is. Its getting a bit tired.”

People are disappointed.

Alexandre Simard 11 Oct 05

Excitement of all kinds seem to be uniformly tagged as hype these days unless you share the excitement.

In which case it’s called “drinking the kool-aid”? ;-)

darrel 11 Oct 05

“buzz in the blogosphere” = over-hyped with buzzwords

But, so what? That’s marketing, right?

satya 11 Oct 05

“37s is overhyped”… LOL im liking this..

JF 11 Oct 05

Funny, not a single mention of 37signals or any of our products in this post, yet the very people who have a problem with what we’re saying are the ones injecting us into this post. This post wasn’t about us. Guess you’re drinking the kool-aid even though you don’t know it.

Lisa 11 Oct 05

LOL — it’s funny how the haters show up no matter what.

JF— I noticed the home 37s home page has changed — no more consulting?

JF 11 Oct 05

Lisa, we don’t have the time right now for consulting — we’re focusing on our products.

Lisa 11 Oct 05

JF — congrats!

ye raight 11 Oct 05

Uh that measuremap thing at the end of each page is awful.

A Noonie Moose 11 Oct 05

I tag things for me. Any type of guidelines on tagging kills the idea.

37 what? never heard of 'em 11 Oct 05

Jon Horn said: “I think everyone is just disappointed that this blog went from interesting design and usability discussions to discussions about how great 37s is. Its getting a bit tired.”

Exactly! I couldn’t have said it better!

I don’t know why I’ve left this annoying feed in my list for so long :S
I’m now going to remove it! Bye Bye 37signals

satya 11 Oct 05

don’t remove the feed! it’s better than ever!! just move it from the ‘usability’ group to the ‘whiners’ group.

Jim Jeffers 12 Oct 05

_”JF I noticed the home 37s home page has changed no more consulting?”_

I also noticed the getting real link is gone too.. will the book still be coming out or are you guys pushing it back now? Please don’t push it back! Please? :)

JF 12 Oct 05

No, the book is coming out. Just finishing it up now.

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