Competitive Intelligence from the Technology Adoption Lifecycle Stage 2

Authored bycascade

Three Insights about Early Adopters: The Search for Business Value

As a product becomes feature complete, it may be regarded as “ready for prime time,” even if it is not yet a candidate for mainstream adoption. If such a product or technology offers the potential for breakthrough business value, it may get the attention of Early Adopters (also known as Visionaries). This group is substantial in size (perhaps 13% of the total market), and it tends to be willing to experiment with somewhat unproven solutions, even if they require added expense and risk, as long as clear potential benefit exists:

  1. The Opportunity. Experimentation by Early Adopters can help guide you toward productized offerings and lend early credibility to an evolving solution, as well as starting to generate significant revenue from it.
  2. The Challenge. This group tends to be hard to please, and early versions of a technology may fail to live up to their expectations. At the same time, Early Adopters are often a poor representation of the wider market, and making the transition from this group to mainstream adoption can be very difficult.
  3. The Influence. Early Adopters influence others in this group, although they may also pave the way for demonstrating business value to the Early Majority described in the next phase of the lifecycle.

This blog post is about the second of five customer stages in the Technology Adoption Lifecycle. The predecessor to this one, “Innovators: The Bleeding Edge,” illustrates how a product’s earliest customers can help shape the offering, long before most people have even heard of it. The ones that follow help define how customer perspectives tend to change as the product and its market matures: “The Early Majority: Is It Safe Yet?,” followed by “The Late Majority: Reluctant to be Led,” and finally, “Laggards: The Last to the Party.”

By Sean Campbell
By Scott Swigart

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