My father made a hobby of buying used cars. He would buy and drive one about six months, then start to find fault with it. Sometimes there was in fact something wrong with the car. Usually he was merely ready for the thrill of the chase, scoping dealers for yet another car to replace the one he had. Even though he bought used cars, each one was somewhat newer with added features. This is no different than the first adopter mentality.
First adopter addicts must have the latest gadget, software, hardware, regardless of cost or inconvenience. Like my father, they have made a hobby of buying for the thrill of buying. No matter the product may not be as good as the one they have, they may need to learn a whole new system or they simply don’t need it. My father was a beta tester for used cars. First adopters are beta testing the first iteration of the next big thing.
For those of us accustomed to the vagaries of the Internet, gadgets and new software, we have come to expect this behavior as normal, at least for the ubiquitous computer nerd. It is anything but normal or ordinary. The majority of end users slog away with whatever is put in front of them, typically at their job. In the case of game machines, kids drive the market. Of course millions of adults have the heartbreak of Puer aeternus (Peter Pan syndrome) – they never grow up.
At the other end of the spectrum are those who refuse to move ahead with anything contemporary. There are people still using Windows 95 with the original software that came with it. I’m not talking about a hobbyist who uses old systems for the fun of it. People who do this see things in a different light. Unless there is a life or death need to upgrade that 1939 Maytag, to hell with it, use it forever.
I am not a first or last adopter. Somewhere in the middle, the sweet spot after the beta testers, post-beta testers and patch experts have found most of the bugs, I look for a good deal on a gadget if I want it. This is how I see the iPad and iOS, Google OS and nearly everything with social media.
What are your thoughts about being first, last or never?
Are you a first adopter?
Are you still using that 1968 La-Z-Boy your mother gave you for a wedding present?
Is your grandmother more proficient with Facebook than you are?