Are you an Early Adopter?

I’ve been thinking about Early Adopters lately.  I think I’m an EA and reviewing the definition solidifies my thinking.  I am generally aware of and interested in new technology, but not all types.  I don’t care much about new technology in home theater, tools, sports gear, photography, etc.  I pretty much just stick to computer based technology.

This led me to think about how to categorize and capture the level of EA.  I sketched out some of areas that touch my life in a simple radar graph (5 is high).

Why do early adopters exist?

In thinking about it, I believe there are two reasons people become EAs in their interest areas

  1. Passion for topic – an individual finds themselves on the left hand side of the technology adoption curve when they have true passion on the subject matter.  A person becomes super knowledgeable and engages in the community around the topic.  The passion emanates from within the person, it’s part of their being.
  2. Belief in intrinsic value – sure people can tinker without purpose.  Tinkering is wonderful and creative, but I believe Early Adopters find a intrinsic value in the technology.  Perhaps it’s that the best cameras do a better job at creating art.  Or the best sports gear yields the best sportsman.

Sound right?  Does the combination of passion and value that yield early adopters?  What other factors are at play?

What does your radar graph look like?

Photo credit Pixomar @


    • Sid on April 20, 2011 at 12:23 am

    The 3rd factor is “Coolness” – there is definitely something totally cool about being in a minority that possesses a newly-launched electronic toy/device.

    The 4th factor is having the opportunity to be a change agent and a leader that helps people make the transition to something new. As an early adopter, I especially enjoy sharing tips-and-tricks, workarounds, hacks etc. with people who are not early adopters. Doing so allows me to share my knowledge and rediscover the product in question multiple times.

    EAs of the world unite!

  1. Hi Sid,

    Love the comment on “coolness”. Exclusivity definitely is a draw, ask any luxury brand manager. This is great insights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.