Innovation Loves the Early Adopter

Where would our technology industries be without the early adopters?

Our technology industries thrive on those people and companies who are willing to pay high prices for the latest in entertainment technology or business solutions. Personally, I don’t have the time to beta test new technologies, either as public betas or as newly released products, so I am very happy that the early adopters are so eager and ready to do so.

Because it interests me and because it is part of my job to identify where we are headed, I stay up on the latest technology; but, when it comes to parting with my hard-earned cash, there has to be a rational reason to do so.

Case in point, digital television. Starting in 2009, all television signals will be digital, so there is this big push in the marketplace to sell people hi-definition digital-capable televisions. At the same time there is a standards war underway in the Digital Video Disc marketplace between Sony and Toshiba for control of the next generation movie distribution platform. Sony has the lead, and whoever is ahead in the market share race after this winter holiday selling season, will be the victor (this is likely to be Sony).

So, my television is going to be obsolete soon, along with my DVD player. My innovation side is happy about this, while the rational side of me is going to hold out until the very last moment in order to get more for less. I’ll be very interested to see what I can get in two years for how little. I just hope that some steadfast entrepreneurs figure out a profitable way to gather a significant portion of the old tube televisions being replaced and ship them to other countries instead of the landfill.

What do you think? Have you already justified the purchase of a digital television to yourself (or significant other) or do you refuse to throw out a perfectly good television?

About Braden Kelley

Braden Kelley is a popular innovation speaker and workshop leader, helps companies build innovation cultures and infrastructures, and plan organizational changes that are more human and less overwhelming. He is the author of Charting Change from Palgrave Macmillan and Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. Braden has been advising companies since 1996, while living and working in England, Germany, and the United States. Braden earned his MBA from top-rated London Business School. Follow him on Twitter and Linkedin.
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