25 February 2016

The pros and cons of being an early adopter – of anything!

Tags:Innovation, Marketing

From investing in new cloud storage to experimenting with wearable technology, becoming an early adopter is often a shortcut to competitive advantage. But jumping on the bandwagon before your competitors can come with obstacles of its own. Here are some pros and cons of being an early adopter.

Pro: Reaping market insights first

These days, digital shifts spark changes in customer behaviour from day to day. However, it’s difficult to predict the devices and developments that will connect with users without experimenting with these trends yourself. Adopting technology early can mean turning real-world insights into actions that will benefit your business before anyone else. This can work wonders for your market share as well as for your bottom line.

Con: Dealing with digital glitches

Unfortunately, being a digital pioneer can also mean dealing with issues, obstacles, and bugs. Many instances of trailblazing technology are prone to issues that developers have failed to iron out. Early adopters will also have less access to resources, support, and troubleshooting advice. This can negatively impact your ability to meet targets and get tasks done.

Pro: Pre-empting the future

There’s something undeniably satisfying about knowing that your actions can pre-empt the future or spark a wide-scale market shift. If you want to be a company that embraces innovation, it’s important to practice what you preach.

Con: Facing greater level of risk

Being an early adopter can mean paying a hefty price for new technology, but it also means being unaware of whether your investment will pay off. Sometimes, rolling out a new device or software without awareness of how consumers will deploy it can lead to problems that cost serious time and resources.  A 2015 Time report found that people who purchased Apple products early paid as much as 48% more than those who waited more than two years.

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