Everything New has an Adoption Cycle

Each new product or new service goes through an Adoption Cycle. The adoption cycle is first introduced to the world through Geoffrey Moore’s book Crossing the Chasm.

The adoption cycle states that every new technology will first be used by people that are crazy about technology and they just love to own the latest technology (these are called the Innovators). After that comes the Early Adopters that usually like to own new stuff, but they always prefer to know what does the Innovators (or experts) have to say about it. Later comes the Early Majority, these guys will not spend their money in a new technology unless they do their research and ask many users that previously used it. Later and after they feel that they are the only ones left in the room not owning this new technology, the Late Majority make the decision to adapt. Finally comes the Laggards, they always resist change and everything new, they prefer to stay in the status quo and they are just proud to be the last in.

To make things easier, let’s take this example. Let’s say we have a family of five (Teenage boy, 20 yrs girl, father, mother and grandfather). Let’s apply the iphone adoption cycle to this family, how it’s going to look like?

Be careful, age have nothing to do with the theory, but I used it here just to simplify things.

While this concept is called the Technology Adoption Cycle, it also applies for things other than Hi-Tech. For example it also fits perfectly for fashion. A new style is first adopted by people that are crazy about fashion that likes to set the trend. Then you’ll find fashion bloggers writing about it, then the Mass Market (Early and Late Majority and Laggards) will just follow. Same theory applies for a new restaurant opening in the city or a new App in the App store.

Now everything seems easy and common sense, but the challenge is with the “Chasm“. The Chasm is the empty separated area that you can see in the red early adopters stage. There lies the tricky part, its easy to get the Innovators and part of the Early Adopters excited with your product, but the hardest part is to convince the Mass Market, and the real money is with the Mass Market. To cross the chasm you should know that the Mass Market usually needs something different than the Innovators and Early Adopters. That means to cross the chasm you need to change, add features or lower the price of your product. It is hard to explain in this short post what you should do exactly to cross the chasm, that’s why you should go right now and buy the best book written in marketing for startups called……….of course Crossing the Chasm.


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Related posts: Must Read List for Entrepreneurs

I Joined Wamda Team :)

I’m happy to announce that I joined Wamda.com team as a frequent writer. My job will be to cover the entrepreneurship activity happening in Kuwait and to write  about entrepreneurship in general. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean that we are closing StartupQ8.

Wamda is a platform designed to empower entrepreneurs in the MENA region. It is also considered the best online media site covering entrepreneurship and startup activity in the region. Moreover, Wamda is a great resource of data and research studies focused on the MENA. It also invests directly in early stage startups in the MENA region though its Capital Fund.

Wamda is managed by a very highly skilled team led by Fadi Ghandour (Board member at Wamda and founder of Aramex), Habib Haddad (CEO and founder of Yamli.com) and Nina Curley (Chief Editor of Wamda Media). Thanks Nina and Habib for choosing me to join your awesome team.

It is such an honor to join Wamda, and I hope this will help to put Kuwait on the map of the entrepreneurial movement happening in the region.

So if you are a startup based in Kuwait and you think you should be covered by Wamda, please contact me at Startupq8@gmail.com.

Event Location

Many are asking where is Think Cafe? So I made this map that I hope it will make it easier for you to find it.

If you are still lost, then go to this link to check the location in Google maps.

This is how the coffe shop looks from the front, however the best way is to enter from the back, since there aren’t any car entrance in the front.

If you see Think Cafe from the front that means you didn’t turn right in the roundabout and you need to redo the whole thing from the beginning. Don’t be late, good luck 🙂

StartupQ8 Event

This Wednesday the 26th of Sep is the 1st StartupQ8 Event (The venue is Think Cafe, near Alraya mall. Click here to show in Google Maps). I’m so excited and really looking forward to it. Remember this first event will be about three main subjects:

And below is our small invitation.

Please share this invitation with anyone you think will be interested to come.

We are currently trying to estimate the number of people attending the event, so that we can better prepare for it. Please fillin the short form by clicking here. Also please follow us in twitter @startupq8 to stay up-to-date with everything related to the event and the blog.  I hope to see you all in the event 🙂

If you are interested to know more about the event, check the slides below:

Creating a Logo for StartupQ8

My sister always tell me that I should create a new logo for StartupQ8. I thought our current logo was awesome (the one I created in less than 5 min using Power Point), but apparently no one like’s it other than me.

Since StartupQ8 Event is getting very close (this Wednesday), we decided to create a new logo,  and we want you to be part of it!!

How? good question, through 99designs. I just created a competition to create a logo for StartupQ8, soon I’ll get logo’s from designers from all over the world. The best design will win the prize of US$300. But, I need your help to pick the best logo. To give your opinion please follow us in twitter @startupq8 or in instagram  @startupq8 or you can directly go to this link: http://99d.me/c/3kqc and look into all of the submission and give your opinion by leaving a comment in this post.

I just published the contest and we already have some logos and it’s looking good.

We are going to announce the winning logo during the event at the 26th of Sep in think cafe at 7:30PM. To know more about the event check this post. Hope to see you all there.

Google Developers Group in Kuwait

Do you remember our post about Kuwait Hackers, we previously mentioned that they are going to organize a weekly event every Wednesday. Well it’s not technically an event, it’s a Round Table to discuss the latest updates happening in the programming world.

The discussions will mostly be beneficial for people with technical background. Below is more info about the gathering:

Topic: Lighting talks about various tech topics. Including app engine, jquery mobile, django,  cloud computing and more.

Time and date: Wednesday the 19th of Sep at 8PM (Yes, today!! my bad)

Venue: Java detour Cafe,  Al Soor st., AL Soor Tower, 4th Floor, Kuwait City / Salhiya, Kuwait. Click here to view in Google Maps

The official name of the group is not Kuwait Hackers, it’s Google Developers Group. You can find more about the gathering and the group in thier public G+ group page.

Five things you should NOT DO in a Startup

I like this article (by  – CNET) about the 7 Startup Sins to Avoid. We had these seven sins written in our wall, back when we were in Wayra-Barcelona.

Below are the 5  things that you should NOT DO in a startup:

1- Avoid Losing Focus:  Just focus in building your most important features that without them your product is not complete. Build a product with the least features (also known as your Minimum Valuable Product).  Don’t add features just because you can or because one customer asked for it. In short, don’t end-up being a Swiss Army Knife.

2- Don’t Ignore Cashflow: How much cash you have in the bank is the most important financial number when you are in early stage. This number determines how much time you have before your startup dies. As a Co-founder your job is to keep your startup alive as much as you can, until you decide your-self to let it die. That means the founder should understand the cost structure very well. Every Startup have a monthly Burn Rate, understand yours very well, especially before talking to investors. You must read this article by Fred WilsonBurn Rate: How Much?

3- Don’t Get Over Obsessed With Competitors: You’ll always have competitors doing something similar to what you are doing. Don’t worry about them and focus on what your customer want instead of what your competitor is doing.

4- Avoid Failing Slowly: Find out quickly if your product suck or not. Put your product in front of customers as soon as you can and start getting feedback and fix your errors. Don’t be shy if your product looks ugly or incomplete, just throw it out there and start running tests and get some insight from real customers. Look how bad was fishfishme.com home page 3 months ago (this was designed by me using Power Point).

5- Don’t Be In-Store-Good, be At-Home-Good: In-Store-Good means that your product looks awesome in the shelf with its packaging and design, but when you go home and use it, the product doesn’t deliver. At-Home-Good is a product that may looks just OK, but when you use it, you know it’s worth every penny. (This concept is taken from the book Rework)

In-Store-Good: To me Formal Shoes are the best example for In-Store-Good. They look great and feel OK in the store. But, as soon as you wear them for the first real mission, the pain makes you cry like a baby.

At-Home-Good: I think my fan is a good example for At-Home-Good. I bought it for US$15 ten years ago and I use it everyday (because I like the sound it makes, I know I’m weird) and it is still working perfectly!!

That’s the 5 things that every co-founder should avoid. Please read the original article by  and continue reading the other two sins that you should avoid: Ignoring company culture and Not building.

BaseCamp is Awesome For Your Startup

I’m currently using Basecamp to communicate with my other team members Jose, Chrisitian and Krishna. Our team is split between Kuwait and Spain. While it’s currently better for our business to be based in two different regions, it’s very challenging to communicate and follow-up with our day-to-day operations. However, I think we found a way to overcome this problem and probably it’s even better than working together in the same office!! It’s called Basecamp, and it’s very simple. Do you remember the book called Rework written by 37Signals Co-founders, Basecamp is one of their products. Let me take you in a quick tour in Basecamp:

1- The home page is your launchpad for all of your projects. You can easily navigate all of your projects (every box is a project) and  easily add new projects and invite whoever you want by just adding their email.

2- Inside a project you can create discussions and your team can comment inside them and attach stuff. Its similar to an email conversation, but in a much organized way.

3- Other powerful tool is Progress. Here you can follow all activities that happened based on a timeline.

There are many other stuff that you can do in Basecamp such as the Calendar and to-do lists. Basecamp features may sounds very basic and can be done by many other tools such as email for example. That’s true, however the ease of using it and the way it organizes stuff makes your team much more productive. . You can try it right now for 45 days free trail, later you only need to pay US$20/month (for small startups). Basecamp helps you better communicate with your team, increase productivity and may also eliminate the need to have meetings with your team for good 🙂

You Are Not StartupQ8!!!

I had a conversation today with my friend Yousif about the twitter account I’m using for the blog. I previously used my personal account as StartupQ8 account, but he thinks that I should use a separate StartupQ8 account because they are two separate things.

Below is part of the conversion that happened with my friend (I used Steve Jobs face to represent Yousif because I think he was very honest and straight forward just like Steve Jobs)

I think he is totally right, it shouldn’t be integrated with my personal twitter account,  and yes, I’m not StartupQ8!! If you read the About StartupQ8 in the top, I wrote this “I’ll start writing in this blog as much as I can, but hopefully later people will also contribute and post things to keep the blog vibrant and alive“. By linking StartupQ8 with my personal account is like saying the blog belongs to me, which it’s exactly the opposite of out I’m trying to achieve. I think part of me wanted to take advantage of the blog to gain more followers in Twitter and this conversation was a wake up call for me.

My only excuse was that I don’t want to manage two accounts at the same time. I just found out that its super easy to switch between two twitter accounts, just click “Switch account:s”:

So starting from now you can follow @startupq8 instead of my personal account to follow the latest action happening in StartupQ8.

It’s great to have friends like Yousif, they put you back in track when you get lost. It’s better to get a frank and honest advice from a friend than from a stranger. Some people find it offending, but I really appreciate that he spent the time to advice me and correct me, that shows that he really cares. Thanks Yousif and Kthar Alah mn amthalik (I’m not sure how to translate this in English, but I’ll give it a try: May God make more people like you)

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