Are you a laggard?

When a new piece of technology or gadget comes out, are you the early adopter that couldn't wait to get your hands on it or are you the laggard who waits till everyone else is on board before getting one? Or maybe you are the innovative mind behind the new invention? Below is the Technology Adoption Lifecycle that shows how new ideas and technologies are adopted by different demographics.


For a product to enter the mainstream, it needs to move from the left to the right of the curve. State of the art and ground-breaking technology we hear about from researchers and scientists are still in the early innovators stage. Electric cars are still stuck in the early adopters stage until they figure out how to cross the chasm or the earth blows up.

In recent years, Facebook and Twitter have finally captured the attention of the early majority and sooner or later almost everyone is gonna have a Facebook account. To most businesses, reaching the late majority is the ultimate goal. The laggards are just too troublesome to be bothered with.

The Chasm is something proposed by Geoffrey A. Moore in Crossing the Chasm. For disruptive and discontinuous technologies, there is a chasm between the early adopters and the early majority. Inventions like MP3 format and the Internet is disruptive because they are innovation that are unexpected by the market.

If you want these disruptive technologies to be adopted by the mainstream, you have to position your product differently. Moore argues that the early adopters and early majority have very different expectations from your product and this is the main reason why most high tech products fail to reach the mainstream.

I'm still on the fence about using a smartphone but I do want to adopt the iPad as soon as I can.