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

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1 Comment

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