There is a great post from Louis Gray that I’ve been thinking about lately with an interesting view of 5 Major Stages of early adopter behavior.
The Five Stages of Early Adopter Behavior include:
Discovery, QA and Spreading the Word
Promotion and Collaboration
Mainstream Use and Engagement
Sense of Entitlement, Nitpicking and Reduced Use
Migration to Something New, Call to Move Followers
I’ve discussed early adopter behavior before. The first few steps compress the normal 5 step process everyone goes through in adopting a new innovation – awareness, interest, evaluation, trial and adoption. Entitlement and migration describe something else – some of the early stages of adopting a new innovation require the rejection of the previous one.
This is also behavior seen by innovators. Innovators love something new and even after adopting a new innovation are often looking for the next best thing. But almost anyone who adopts a new innovation must break away from the old one.
It may well be a different process for the innovators/early adopters than for the rest of the group, the early and late majorities. Most people are informed about what choices to make by early adopters/innovators. These people do not generally discover new innovations and will adopt what others tell them to. They rely on key influential members of the community to inform them about new innovations.
Innovators and early adopters, on the other hand, rely on outside influences and their own personal knowledge to inform themselves about adopting an innovation. They do not simply change because someone told them to. So they may have more personally invested in an innovation and may have to do some emotional disengagement from a previous innovation in order to begin the process of adopting a new one. They essentially have to go through a re-evaluation process in order to move on.
Finding faults with the old makes it easier to move on to the joys of the new. I would expect that the initial stages of adopting, such as awareness, overlap with the latter stages of disengagement. I would also expect that innovators are more likely to cobble together problems with the old in order to justify moving on to the new, moving through the re-evaluation period as fast as they move through the other 5.
For early adopters, evaluation is their hallmark, so I would expect re-evaluation would also be important to them. They would spend some time on this ‘process, more carefully weighing the benefits of a new innovation with the disadvantages of the old.
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