Squeezing the time span of customer adoption

Are your teenagers making fun of your devoted use of FaceBook?  They have dropped it away already long ago. Perhaps you have noticed the constant sound peeping from their iPhones when they discuss with their friends in WhatsApp. There is only one thing you can be sure, next year it will be “AnotherApp” and you are lagging even more behind.

We all have heard of the pattern how consumers adopt new technologies. After the few innovators and small group of early adopters has adopted the innovation it starts to spread to early and late majority and finally reach the laggards over some time period (by Everett Rogers).

Well, that is not true anymore. At least not,  if we listen to Larry Downes and Paul F. Nunes who described their idea of Big Bang Disruption (Harvard Business Review, March 2013).  They have noticed how the users of one platform can “make a switch in a matter of weeks”.

According to their studies the old pattern has been squeezed into a compressed model. New products are fine tuned by few trial users and then embraced quickly by the vast majority of the market. The adoption curve is heading up urgently and then dropping down with the same rapidity when the saturation is reached. Due to the increasing tempo of novelties there is hardly any room for late adopters and laggards as the new innovation often swipe off from the market the former one.

At the same time the adopting model has changed as it is not anymore so demanding to grasp on new ideas and applications. These Big Bang Disruption innovations are often born as quick, low-cost experiments of available platform. Entrepreneurs are launching them as trials and check out do they “fly”. Consumers pick up quickly those one which are serving best there own need and which are easy to adapt into use.

According to Downes and Nunes Big Bang Disruption innovations are cheaper, more inventive and better integrated with other products and services than the established offerings. In addition, they are using consumers access to product information and their interest to contribute to and share it. Internet memes can infect the whole world in just few days or weeks. In a way, the world is getting to a near-perfect market information at least in certain areas.

Therefore, do not lose your faith, but instead be interested in what your teenagers are up to with their phones and pads. Ask them to mentor you in latest apps and ways of communicating. For sure they will be proud to help – and in addition to better contact to your teen you will be updated with what’s going on.

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