I blame the Segway. In 2001, it was billed as the "IT" device, and was given over-the-top endorsements by tech celebrities like Steve Jobs and John Doerr. It was "as big a deal as the PC" and "bigger than the Internet."
Nevertheless, no one had any clue what it was, and speculation raged. The marketing strategy was a masterpiece of hype, and in the end, a recipe for disappointment. In December, the miracle invention was revealed to be an electric scooter - a plaything for campus cops and tourists.
Today, the hype cycle is a given for new tech products. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., LTD. (KRK:005930) tease new smartphones with mystery press events, whicvh in turn play out something like Napoleon's coronation: glitzy, golden, and overambitious.