Monday, February 13, 2006

Adoption pattern?


The issue of how new technologies, new
tools or new practices are adopted is interesting to explore.

Thinking about the way things went with the Internet I tried to draw
what I call the "public enthusiasm curve" or "buzz
curve" and to correlate it to the profiles of adopters. I have
no way of verifying this now, but it certainly feels right in every
single case of innovation I have been involved in: dreams of what may be follow the realisation that something new and exciting is available; then the confrontation of dreams to hard realities leads to a collective depression in which only few individuals remain committed to their dreams; as the work of the die-hard believers starts paying-off, adoption happens and optimism kicks in again...

My conclusion is
that those who actually make innovation happen are the silent and
unknown heroes who persevere and address all the issues and aspects
overlooked in the first versions of an innovative proposition. The
people who keep the faith even when the innovation falls from grace.
They are the creators of SalesForce when doubt was all you would get
speaking about ASP, the makers of Amazon when traditionalists were
showing dismall statistics of e-commerce transactions, the inventors
of Skype who have started something that will rock the entire
telecoms business...

Three points:

  1. Patience and perseverance are valuable assets provided feedback from initial attempts is factored into newer initiatives

  2. We have yet to experience 80% of Infotech's benefits and there will be no silver bullets

  3. Waves of innovation are to be expected in a number of industries out there. They may not be those that seem the most obvious. Everybody, enjoy the ride!



  1. Alex,
    Check "Crossing the chasm". It's related to this but uses another curve.

  2. Philippe,
    Many thanks. Indeed there is a connection there I was not aware of; I know the rough outlines of Crossing the Chasm, but always felt reluctant to buy it because of all the crap that was published a few years ago about the "new economy". I guess I was wrong about this one. I ordered it this morning though. Thanks.