Used Car And First Adopter Addicts

July 13, 2010 · 11 comments

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.

The majority of end users slog away with whatever is put in front of them, typically at their job.

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?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Randy Murray July 13, 2010 at 7:45 am

I’ve got two pieces in the queue on just this topic! One on buying refurbished hardware and another on adopting an early adopter.

I am mostly a hypocrite when it comes to this topic. For many things I can hold off. I did have to have an iPad (and it is amazing – totally worth it), but I’m resisting the iPhone 4 (at least for now). But I advise people to wait and let the initial buzz die down, see the initial fixes, wait for just a bit longer. Then I show up with one.

I’ve had many used cars over the years, but I also find a great approach to be buying a well made new car and then driving it for ten years or more. I’m six years into my current vehicle and it might make fifteen!
Randy Murray´s last blog ..Tools -amp Systems – Video Week-

Hal Brown July 13, 2010 at 2:29 pm

I hear you. I wanted an iPad (still do) but I’ll wait for the next iteration. Don’t need an iPhone – my BB does the job. :)

Mari July 13, 2010 at 1:35 pm

I never was a first/early adopter until Twitter came along – and it introduced me to the still-baby services of Utterli (was Utterz, and I preferred the Utterz service) and Seesmic. And last year it introduced me to Evernote (I’d be lost without it!).

I never could wrap my head around the iPhone hype, though. I find them difficult to use and all the neat gadgets you have to pay for. And we won’t discuss the price of the phone or the price of the plan/s you have to have for it …

Hal Brown July 13, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Evernote is a super tool. I use it all the time.

Mari July 13, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Evernote has taken the place of many itty bitty notepad files and miscellaneous picture files on my hard drive. It’s where I keep the majority of my writing notes.

Kissie July 13, 2010 at 2:41 pm

I hate to admit that I am a First Adopter. While I’m admitting things, did anyone else have to look up the word, vagaries? Good grief, Hal! And when I looked it up, it reminded me of my sex life! And why did the definition, “an unpredictable or erratic action, occurrence, course, or instance” remind me of my sex life!

Okay back to the subject, I’m not a shopaholic but I like the contemporary styles so no old La-z-Boys for me … wait a minute, I need to speak with my son.

I may not be the best in my Blogging Circles but I’m so much quicker than my parents and grandparents. They think I’m a whiz – at vocabulary words too. ;-)

I appreciate you expanding my mind today. Ouch.
Kissie´s last blog ..People Diet

Kissie July 13, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Can you add an option for us to edit our comments … people like me tend to repeat ourselves.
Kissie´s last blog ..People Diet

Hal Brown July 13, 2010 at 6:38 pm

I like your comments. How about some RT love? :-)

Mari B July 13, 2010 at 5:31 pm

So many good things to comment on today, Hal!

Your comparison between serial used car buyers and first adopters makes me chuckle. While I can think of one person who for thirty years seems to have owned thirty newish-used cars, I can think of many more who really get turned on by owning the latest and the (alleged) greatest. In the early Mac days new hardware and software were so exciting: we were thrilled to move up to better and better graphic design tools. The Quadra 840AV, however, was the cure for my naivieté. That it never lived up to its hype taught us a valuable lesson. (It was supposed to have been voice compatible.) And the darn thing used to lock up all the time and devour hours of work despite hitting Save. Great training though for the habitual and frequent Save. And backing up. ;o/

I do believe in buying good products built to last. To Randy’s point – maybe his car spends a lot of time in the garage like ours because we work from home, too – I’m happy to admit to owning two tiptop relics: a ten year old Jeep Wrangler and a twenty year old “Mazdaratti,” aka The Dog Car. Whether they’re good products is subjective and debatable, but they get good care and have performed reliably. Buying smart and taking care of things is my preference vs. succumbing to the planned obsolescence popularized by the many manufacturers that lure customers with low-priced, subpar products.

Thanks to both (your other) Mari and you for highly recommending Evernote. I’m going to add a “B” after Mari to keep us straight. And to Kissie who is always cheerful and funny: time to Follow you.

Shying away from change or new technologies keeps people within their comfort zone. But for those of us who enjoy new challenges and who recognize the potential usefulness of a new thingamabob, the 21st century is getting off to a good start.

Hal Brown July 13, 2010 at 6:41 pm

I’m with you about the cars. I buy new, but drive it till its not much use anymore. What I really like is no car payments.

This is such a good comment. You’ve added a lot to the post. Thanks Mari B.

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