My Latest Forbes Column – When Should You Buy The New, New Thing?


My latest column for Forbes has just been posted …

One way technology companies make money is by pushing their latest and greatest gadgets to their most rabid customers—and charging a premium for it for as long as they can.  The question: Do you plunk down early and often to get an edge on competitors who drag their feet? Or, do you hang back and wait for prices to fall–and bugs to appear–before making a move?

Research shows that, for any given innovation life cycle, there are phases of market adoption–that is, when people chose to buy. One well-established breakdown–found in Diffusion Of Innovations, a textbook by Everett Rogers–looks like this:

–2.5% for Innovators (buyers on the “bleeding edge”, who pile in right off the bat)

–13.5% for Early Adapters

–34% for Early Majority

–34% for Late Majority

–16% for Laggards (bargain-bin sifters last to the party)

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