Where are you on the Product Adoption Curve? #illumedati 5

Today’s Whatever Wednesdays post is because of a conversation I had with a good friend of mine recently.

Me: “Hey dude, there is a new Amazon Echo coming out. The Echo Dot. Do you have one?”

F: “Yea man, it’s sitting in my living room right now. What you don’t have one?”

Me: “Nah man, I don’t usually buy stuff until the 2nd or 3rd generation.”

F: “The Echo came out back in 2015. It’s nearly the end of 2016. What were you waiting for?”

Me: “I just said… The 2nd generation.”

F: “So what you’re telling me, is that after Skynet takes over and Terminators are running around, John Connor will come to you and ask for help. And you’ll say ‘Just a second John, I never bought the Echo, I should probably do that now’.”

Me: “Sounds about right.”

[Click Picture to Enlarge]

So what is this enormous graph?

Well, there are a lot of names for it and it has been shown in many different ways. However, I think the general term for it is the “Product Adoption Curve”.

Based on the example above, my friend is an early adopter. As soon it was released in 2015, he already had it pre-ordered. He already understood its usefulness even before it came out. However, for me, I dislike buying things as soon as they are sold. I like the market to test the product first before I commit any money to it. This places me in between the Early and Late Majority of people.

My friend is the first 15% of early adopters/innovators. I consider myself to be smack dab in the first 50%. This has held true since the beginning. The iPhone came out in 2007. I remember this pretty vividly because one of my co-residents was on ICU with me had an iPhone on release day. My ICU attending also had one. I remember just how awesome the phone was at that time.

It was amazing, you just swiped to go to the next picture. 

However, I could not comprehend paying whatever the price was at the time. If I recall correctly, it was like $399 and it was only available through AT&T. Ok, but surely you bought the 3G when it came out in July 2008 right?


I had just finished my intern year, had just moved and was starting my first year in radiology residency. Buying the iPhone 3G did not even register on my radar. But then, July 2009, I bought the 3GS. By then, it wasn’t even “cool” anymore. It had moved on to just being functional. I went home and saw my best friend (and future best man), who at the time had a 3G. While eating In N Out, our other friends were messing around with our iPhones he said “The iPhone isn’t even a big deal anymore. Who cares?” However, the “other friends” went out to upgrade their plans and buy iPhones that same day after seeing ours.

For completeness’s sake, after the 3GS in 2009, my wife and I bought the 4S October 14, 2011. That phone served us well, until we bought the 6+ September 19, 2014. So, from my buying habits regarding iPhones, I upgrade every 2-3 years when I think it’s worth it. Are the 6S and 7 better? Yes. But not “better” enough to convince me to upgrade.

We’ll see if the 8 provides a big enough change for me to upgrade or not.

Ok, now let’s refocus:

Why am I buying an Echo Dot now? Well, I’ve seen what it can do, and now with all the other stuff in my house, I think it’s now worth it. My daughter and son love music. Like a lot. My wife is the musical one in the family… whereas I am pretty much tone deaf. Since we already have Amazon Prime, it makes sense to have an Echo Dot now.

For those who don’t know, the major difference between the Echo and Echo Dot is the exclusion of the big speaker and it’s significantly cheaper price ($49).

Now, I don’t have a bluetooth speaker yet, so I needed to buy one of those too. For those interested, I ordered the Anker SoundCore. I’m not a huge audiophile, but I do want the most bang for my buck. So after a little research, I found a few articles (SoundGuys and Cnet) that said this was a good speaker for the price. It’s also #1 Best Seller and has 4.5 stars, so it should do fine for my purposes.. and hey it’s $35! It isn’t the prettiest speaker though, so if that is a concern then maybe buy a different one like the JBL Flip 3. Or you can get the UE Roll or UE Roll 2 if you want something waterproof.

It remains to be seen as to whether Amazon Prime’s streaming music service will be worth it, but I think I am ok with the free version of music streaming that Amazon Prime provides me for now.

What is “The Chasm”?

There is also a concept called the “Chasm” which is a zone between innovation and early adoption. This is primarily a start-up concept, but basically it means you’ve made a product that people don’t want… or maybe they just don’t want it yet. Could Facebook have been Facebook back in 1995 when Yahoo was just starting? Could the iPhone have worked back in 1996 when StarTACs were the thing?


Your population has to be ready for the change your product is going to make. In 1995, people barely knew what the internet was. Internet access wasn’t ubiquitous enough to allow for Facebook to exist on a scale large enough to make it profitable. What was viable in that time period? America Online (AOL). AOL was Facebook for Internet 1.0 and it was really expensive to be a part. You had to pay an HOURLY FEE, on top of your internet provider fee. It became a monthly fee of $19.95 in 1996 when it became possible to do so, and grew to 10 million people.

You also need a large enough adopter population to make it financially viable. Even if you could have made an iPhone in 1996, the cost to do it would be astronomically high. No one could have afforded it.

“Millennials” are early adopters. 

That’s what the media keeps saying, and there are a ton of articles about marketing to millennials. However, here is one snippet I think is interesting:

“Millennials are 2.5 times more likely to be early adopters than their predecessors, and many of them are afraid of missing out.” Source

Now, I’m not sure where that data comes from, but maybe it’s true.

I would venture to say that most of this data and research about millennials is coming from… not millennials. I’d like to hear some millennials themselves weigh in.


I’m somewhere between the early majority and late majority.

My friend is an early adopter.

Where are you?

Are millennials early adopters?


This post is testing some unobtrusive Amazon Affiliate links. From what I understand, if you click any of the item links above which go to Amazon, and then eventually buy something from Amazon in the next 24-36 hours, I may get a few pennies or something (at no cost to you). Since this post was about mostly Amazon items, I figured I should at least try it out. I will try to limit most, if not all Amazon affiliated links to my Whatever Wednesday Posts so as not to dilute the content of the Medicine Mondays and Finance Fridays posts.

Images of the Products can be found at the bottom.



Are you an early adopter, early majority, late majority, or laggard? Do you agree that millennials are early adopters?

Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.

You don’t need to fill out your email address, just write your name or nickname.


Share this: