Business

The Lifecycle of Innovation Adoption

The innovation adoption cycle is one of the most essential things to understand when you seek to launch a product or service, or make any sort of cultural change. Different people sign up for new ideas at different rates.

 
Some farmers, for example, are eager to try a new type of seed or irrigation device. Some farmers will wait years, or a generation, to try the same thing. Some people start the video going viral, some are the very last to see it.

 
innovation-adoption

 
What distinguishes these people? It’s worth noting that someone who might be an innovator at work might choose to be a laggard at home.

 
It turns out that the key is in the way they present themselves with problems. “I have a problem: I don’t have the new cell phone,” is a concern of the Innovator. On the other hand, the Early Majority says, “I have a problem, all my friends have a new cell phone and I don’t.”

 
Note that few say, “The device I have doesn’t have the right features.” That’s because features don’t create problems that we can solve by embracing a new idea or technology. Our stories do. A missing feature might provide some of the narrative of our internal story, but most of all, the story is built around the behavior of those around us.

 
If you want a population to adopt your innovation, you have to create a problem that is solved by adoption. And that problem is almost always related to, “what about the others?”

 
Originally written as Product adoption: different problems for different folks by Seth Godin

 

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