There was an interesting comment made by a person in the audience where I was giving a talk. It was about a major technology area that I had worked in early in my career and the comment was that it was a niche technology now. I had not thought about that much until then but it made sense. And it brought on other thoughts about how natural was it for a technology to reach a zenith and then be eclipsed by other technologies. Maybe it will disappear altogether, or it will continue to have value for a protracted period without being the primary technology in use.
So, how does a technology go from mainstream to niche? I asked that question to people in the industry to get their opinions. First, the discussion gravitated towards eliminating technologies that had never gained a measure of success. The measure of success was generally considered to be “in widespread usage” if not the dominant one in use. The favorites or pet technologies that some were enamored with because of potential or “coolness” were also eliminated. Those that had not yet achieved mainstream usage are usually referred to as “emerging” or “developing.”