I heard someone say this yesterday when meaning ‘early adopter’. I like how it broadens the spectrum of technological adoption though. Wonder what other groups and phases are identifiable?
Before early adopter I suppose there are the creators of some sort. Or the ones that hack their own version of something. Like people who jailbreak their phones or mod their own computers, only for their ‘hack’ to later become part of the operating system. For want of a less muddied term, these people are the Innovators I suppose.
Early adopters are a funny bunch also. We sort of hail them in some respects for being future forecasters, but as with everything in life, they’re not 100% perfect. Early adopters often adopt things that don’t work out. Like a Segway user or a Narrative Clip owner (a link which at the time of writing goes to a page noting the suspending of operations after the product failed).
Even at the best of times though, early adopters take the brunt of a buggy version one of something, thus goes the progressive and almost public services nature of early adopters, paving the way with their exploration and risk for early adapters to come in once things look safe and version two is on the market. For the most part I think I’m in this category. Early adapting, having felt burned too many times from my attempts at early adoption.
Next comes the slow accepter perhaps. Those that take to the new thing with ease, the more prevalent and unavoidable that it becomes. Some time after the late accepter, reluctant to change, accepts that times have changed and that they have to adopt this – now old – new thing. Often these are the ones that pooh-poohed it at first, but deny any recollection to their being a time before the now. Physical keyboard supports come to mind here.
Then, once the norm is absolute, we enter early abandon. Those who were innovators or early adopters at the start, are moving on, inventing and adopting the next new thing and continuing the cycle.