Technology poses a unique conundrum in virtually any industry--what's there today likely will be old news tomorrow, making it hard for companies to take directions in design, manufacture and hiring. But if you look closely, "hot" tech jobs usually make their rounds in predictable hype cycles, according to Ash Munshi, 20-year tech veteran and CEO of Pepperdata. If you know what those cycles look like and how long they usually stick around for, you'll be in a better position to prepare, adapt and survive. I interviewed Munshi about what to watch for and do to beat the odds.

Top signs a new cycle is knocking at the door

The first signal a new tech job trend is starting, Munshi says, is a big uptick in venture capital (VC) investment. Venture capitalists respond fast to new trends, so once experts or consumers identify a technology as hot, funding for that technology starts to surge.

The second can't-miss-it signal is recruitment. "When recruiters notice [the uptick in] venture capitalist activity, they respond as fast as possible to source for talent," explains Munshi. "In addition to recruiters, larger tech companies like Facebook and Google also tend to find skills to take advantage of the hype cycle as early as possible."

Typical hype cycle length

The length of a tech hype cycle can vary based on the specific technology. But Munshi asserts that, in general, hype cycles last about three years. It usually takes two years to staff up and deliver a product into market. It takes an additional year to vet it out.

Your best bet to prepare

Given that venture capitalists start humming at the start of a new tech cycle, your best logistical bet for preparing and making a successful segway is to keep your eye on what those investors are doing.

"Follow the trends first of the VC community and then the larger technology leaders," Munshi advises. "VCs exist to identify and invest in emerging technologies as early in the hype cycle as they can. The earlier the investment, the more money they are likely to make. Be watchful of these emerging trends and what types of project are getting funded."

3 big blunders to avoid

1. Not responding to change

"A successful leader," Munshi claims, "will quickly experiment with new technology, ideas and concepts to see what is applicable and how it can improve their business. [They] don't 'fail fast'. They learn fast and change fast."

As examples of great response, Munshi points out Facebook's transition from a desktop platform to mobile. He also says Microsoft's move from Office/desktop to Azure in the cloud demonstrates navigating change exceptionally well.

2. Trying to protect the current base, technology and infrastructure for too long

Sometimes this is simply because a business leader is more comfortable with what they know. But often this has more to do with finances and logistical difficulties. For example, budget concerns might prompt a leader to find various workarounds instead of completely replacing an outdated software program.

3. Not timing entry properly

Even if you recognize a tech trend, you might not make it if you hop on the bandwagon at the wrong point. Get in too early and you won't have the resources or support you need to grow. Wait too long and there won't be enough interest left. Munshi admits even he fell prey to this mistake.

"In the late '90s, I noticed the trend of video on the web," he says. "Unfortunately, I was a bit too early, and the company [I started related to it] wasn't successful."

What to remember about the consumer

Even though tech cycles are relatively short animals, Munshi says consumers can take in only so much change at a time. He also points out that people absorb change generationally, which can influence how and where you choose to target your marketing.

"My generation of consumers embraced the PC," Munshi explains. "The next generation embraced the Internet, and then it was mobile. For the next generation, it will be artificial intelligence. Previous generations pick up on technology but don't fundamentally embrace it as part of day-to-day life. The next generation does that."

Tech trends always will come and go, but your approach to them can stay constant. With a commitment to an open mind and a willingness to observe the investment activity around you, you'll stay on top.