How fast do you adopt new changes?

There is a theory named ‘Diffusion of Innovation‘ which explains how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures. When any new product or service is introduced in real world – it is not accepted immediately by everyone.

There are few people who adapt new things in life very quickly and there are many who wait for everyone else to use the product and then decide to go for it.

Adoption Curve - Which group do you belong to ?

The graph shown here explains category of people and speed in which new product gets adapted.

As seen in graph: Line shows rate at which one person influences next person to adapt a new product.

For example: New Android phone gets launched in market. Very few will go and buy it in first week. Many will not buy it for long time.

A new Aamir Khan movie gets released. Few will buy ticket in advance. Few will wait for reviews in newspaper. Many will wait to hear from friends about quality of movie. Hence many will watch it only after hearing something good about it from others. If they don’t hear good – they will end up watching it later on DVD or TV channel.

diamondbhai.com blog is also good example. It creates a platform for members of Indian Diamond market and allows to share ideas and thoughts. Few will say “wow! This is cool. I want to join the movement”. Many will say “Not bad! If lot of people start talking abou it then may be I will decide to check this website again”.

There are characteristics of people who fall in different categories of Adopters – however these are generalised category there are always exceptions (We usually find youngsters more tech savvy but I know an uncle who is 50+ and he knows about every new Phone-handset that comes in market. When I hear about some new thing, I talk to him and he tells me how good or bad is this device).

Innovator Group:
Risk Takers, usually younger, willing to take chance, not afraid to invest time/money for new thing, socially mobile and involved.

Early Adopters:
Unlike Innovators they don’t take risk, they do research, and then perseve new things. These are also know as Opinion leaders. These people have credible and provide advice and balanced feedback.

Innovator and Early Adopters try lot of things, not all they try reach to next level.

Early Majority:
They are focused on actual use of idea rather then the concept. They will take part only they find a concrete reason. They don’t get excited seeing new things like Innovators and Early Adopters. They talk to opinion leader and get their recommendation.

Early Majority is the game changer – if you want your product or service to succeed – you want your product to get adopted by Early Majority. Once product crosses this category, product will see lot of success in rest of its life.

Late Majority:
They have same thought process has Early Majority except for they don’t like to use new things unless it becomes standard thign to do. they are late majority to the party and they want to make sure that they have lot of help available when they start using the product.

Laggards:
They fear of new things. They will use product only if it becomes necessary or it becomes part of some existing product. For eg: they will move from windows xp to windows 7 only if they buy a new laptop and windows 7 was already installed in it. They will never upgrade to windows 7 on an existing laptop which has windows xp running.

People who design new product and service never worry too much about laggards for obvious reasons.

So next time you see some friend buying a new idea or product – think of innovation curve and try to analyse which category does he fall in to. Also if you are planning to start new service or launch new product think about innovation curve and design your product so that it easily climbs the innovation curve.

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