Oftentimes when discussions are brought up about emerging and disruptive technologies, you’ll see references made to the so called ‘technology adoption curve’, but what exactly is this? And why is being ‘ahead of the curve’ talked about so often?
The technology adoption curve is a sociological model that describes how people adopt or accept new products or innovations. Generally, this works on a bell curve. The first initial percentage that adopts new technology are referred to as innovators and early adopters. These are often tech-oriented businesses or tech gurus interested in new innovations. Later on, the early majority and late majority will adopt the technology, this is when the technology is said to have become ‘mainstream’. Later on, the laggards will adopt the remaining technology. Oftentimes, old institutions that are slow to adopt, such as traditional banks, are the laggards.
Being ahead of the technology adoption curve is so important because it allows you to take advantage of innovation earlier and hone in on certain markets before they become ‘saturated’ or closed off. For instance, if you started a YouTube channel back in 2006, it would be much easier to build an audience and become a ‘top influencer’ than if you started a channel in 2022 today. Another example is investing in Bitcoin. It would be much easier to make profit from the cryptocurrency investment if you invested in 2009 rather than 2022.
Like the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago. The 2nd best time to plant a tree is today. Getting in early on emerging technologies will allow you more time to grow your platform or make the most out of an investment.