Early Adopter Pain Is Real, But We Need It For Progress

Hundreds of customers outside of an Apple StoreHadrian / Shutterstock

New technology products are usually expensive, semi-useless and buggy. When we describe the feeling of first-generation technology, a certain phrase comes to mind. No, it's not about "buyers' remorse", it's "pain for the first users".

It is difficult to describe the pain of the first users, but it is necessary for technological and social progress. It is like the pain that follows after a long time, mixed with the rush of the game. And as for play, the pain in young adults is expensive.

But what is it that someone is an early adopter and how is the pain of an early adopter necessary for progress?

The five stages of technology adoption

A simple search on Google for "early users" shows that, as a concept, early users are very important to businesses. In fact, they are virtually the decisive factor for the success of a product. according to Everett Rogers, a professor of communication studies at the University of New Mexico, adopting five-step technology forms a bell curve marketing. In his book Diffusion of InnovationsRogers describes how early users are virtually the first and most crucial step in a product's life cycle, even though they represent a very small share of the market.

In the five steps leading to Rogers' adoption of the technology, innovators are the first absolute investors in a new product, even though they represent the smallest share of the market. These innovators usually have a lot of financial resources and can therefore spend a lot of money on new products, even if they are half-cooked or doomed to failure. But innovators do not have much influence on the public; it's just the rich who are investing in new ideas in no time.

Chart illustrating the 5 states of technology adoption by Rogers EverettConsumer groups adopting new technologies (blue), market share (yellow) Rogers Everett – Dissemination of Innovations (1962)

The first users are the second phase of Rogers adoption curve. These are the people who interest us the most. According to Rogers, early users tend to be young, trendy and affluent. The first users (in the field of technology) are generally journalists or YouTubers who have a great influence on average consumers and are often the first place where consumers find new information.

As you can imagine, the first users must be critical of new products to remain credible. If your favorite player, YouTuber, started making noise with a stupid new product and said it was the future of technology, you were less hopeful of their opinions. As a result, manufacturers tend to satisfy early users by giving a luxurious look to new products, expressing their potential, or by adapting to early user reviews early in a product's life cycle.

Once a product reaches the early majority or the late majority, it is considered successful. These categories indicate that average consumers have begun to adopt the product and that it has probably penetrated most of society. When a product begins to be adopted early or late by the majority, manufacturers begin to market it as "easy to use" or "universal." Desktop computers are a good example. Once ordinary people started buying desktop computers, companies began developing tools such as computer mouse and clean graphical interfaces to make things more attractive.

Latecomers are the last to adopt a product and represent a small share of the market. Outdated people or older people usually fall into this category, and companies (smartphone manufacturers, for example) usually refer their products to latecomers.

We have all experienced early pain in the adoptive

We know what the first users are, but what is the pain of the first users? Essentially, early adoption pain is all the annoying shit associated with a product at the beginning of its life cycle. Even if you're not a big tech lover, you've probably had early adoption difficulties. We are all early users in certain areas, be they TV shows, music, books, cars or shoes. And of course, websites like Kickstarter have made early adoption much more affordable and universal.

The first generation of fitbit and pebble watchesNoukeaf / Shutterstock

It is likely that you sponsored a product (or even an artist or a musician) with flaws, simply because you saw the potential. You have trouble showing your support, and you have probably faced all kinds of problems and disappointments, but once the potential of a product is reached, it is adopted by the average consumer.

For better or for worse, the majority do not always adopt a product. Sometimes the potential of a product is not achieved, or it's too niche for the average consumer. When you approve a new product, you take a risk, especially if you pay money to show your interest or support. It is the curse of the pain of early adoption; it does not always work.

Another interesting aspect of pain with early adoption. Sometimes you see a lot of potential in a product and you dream of how it will be used in the future. But he seems to be successful for the wrong reasons. The avenues of progress are crushed – like that. A good example of this is the case where an artist or a musician "sells" or goes in a disappointing direction for reasons of majority adoption. The same thing happens in technology. Imagine that smartphones become children's toys rather than laptops and that all adults get stuck with rocking phones. Hey, you never know.

Think of the iPad or the Apple Watch

Apple could be the best example of early adoption pain. Not because Apple products are bad (they are excellent), but because Apple aspires to innovate. When people buy the first generation of a new Apple product, they have to overcome difficulties. New products can be expensive, lacking useful features, and they can be a bit buggy.

You might remember things differently, but the first-generation iPad was not perfect. There were no cameras, no multitasking features, and almost no apps for businesses or gamers. Users have reported that the first iPad will overheat and strange bugs and issues will make applications and menus inaccessible.

Essentially, the first iPad looked like a giant luxury iPod touch, and most people used it exclusively for streaming web and streaming. But the first users saw a lot of potential in the iPad, and now the tablets are more than one billion tablet users in the world.

Another product to consider is the Apple Watch. The first Apple Watch was essentially a watch vibrating when you received a call or a text message. But early users loved the product and saw a lot of potential for future use. Now, Apple is marketing its Apple Watch Series 4 as a portable physical form of health and fitness that everyone can benefit from. He can even perform an ECG.

Sometimes the products do not reach beyond the first users

Early users are perfect for popularizing new products and encouraging manufacturers to move forward, but they are also useful for keeping half-cooked and premature products off the shelves.

Remember Google Glass? The first users saw a lot of potential in smart glasses, but one thing became clear very quickly. Google Glass is still too strange, expensive and underdeveloped to become a majority product.

Close up of Google GlassHattanas / Shutterstock

You can now claim that Google Glass has become the laughing stock of smart technologies before it can break through an early adoption phase. But it is currently used to niche applications in warehouses and factoriesproving that a product sometimes needs to be used before we can take control of our lives.

RELATED: Google Glass is not dead; This is the future of the industry

Bend back for foldable phones

When you look Samsung's new "revolutionary" folding phoneIt's good to be skeptical. You do not have to buy one right away, and most people can not. The $ 1980 price is not aimed at average consumers. It is intended for innovators and early users.

These first users are interested in innovation (or status symbols) and will test the foldable phone market. They will show manufacturers the potential of these new devices and help advance a new market. Oh, and they will handle all the pain of first time adopters. If these foldable phones break down quickly or get damaged completely, you will not have to worry about them anymore.

The same thing that happened to iPads and Apple watches will (hopefully) happen to foldable phones. They will start out as clumsy, expensive and half useless, but they will gradually become useful and end up in the hands of the average consumer.

RELATED: Here are all the foldable phones announced at the MWC until now

sources: BEME News, On digital marketing

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