The Phantom Menace's Outdated Iphone
Richard A Weakland
Colorado Christian University
Assignment 2: Where Do You Fall On the Adoption Curve?
The Phantom Menace's Outdated Iphone
My father-in-law was so frustrated by his "new" Iphone 4. I was never (and still am not) much of a fan of Apple products. My reluctance and negativity about Apple products notwithstanding, I silently smiled and gently shook my head at the situation unfolding in front of me. I knew my Droid very well and was a loyal user. Because of my brand bias, lack of knowledge, and attitude about my father in law's current situation, I was not being much of a help. It was not because I did not love this man dearly; simply my judgmental attitude and general lack of faith that he was capable of maneuvering such a complicated device was too much to overcome. Luckily, my wife quickly stepped in and showed him how the phone could do things that he was currently using his clunky laptop to accomplish. Before long, he was using his phone to make calls, send texts, take pictures, write and receive emails, play music, watch movies and more. If we are going to adapt to our technologically savvy world, we need to be able to adapt to people from all sections of the adoption curve, from innovators who rush to buy new things the day they come out to laggards like my father-in-law. I once worked for Verizon at one of their call centers. One day, I was driving in to work and I knew I was in for a long day. "It" was coming out today. As I got dressed, I clicked on the news and saw reports that there were lines around the block at numerous stores since midnight, full of people waiting for their chance to finally see "it." No, it wasn't the new Star Wars film. That is something I could understand and get behind. I had stood in line for hours to see a few of those films. "It" was the new Iphone 5. I have never wanted to be the first to get any piece of technology. It always seemed like the first ones coming out were always full of "bugs" and the first purchasers were just glorified BETA testers. Why not let someone else buy the first ones, report their problems and then buy one later once all the bugs had been worked out? This is the same reason why I rarely see movies on opening weekend, with Star Wars and a few other being rare exceptions. Let someone else pay $10 for a flop or report back a favorable review and see it the second or third weekend when the hype has died down, the crowds have diminished and I can benefit from their experience. The only exception to the rule is when you want to experience a movie amidst the splendor of a packed theatre. To this day, I can still feel the energy in the room when Yoda pulled out his light saber and went into battle. Just typing that sentence gave me goose bumps. It wouldn't have been the same experience in my living room watching it with my wife and daughter. Continuing with the movie metaphor, there are five movie goers, just like there are five different rates of adoption when it comes to users of technology. The Boston University Medical Center describes adoption as when "a person does something differently than what they had previously (i.e., purchase or use a new product, acquire and perform a new behavior, etc.) ("Diffusion of Innovation," 2013)." E. M. Rogers' theory Diffusion of Innovation or DOI called the first set of technology adopters innovators. These are the people who sneak into the movie premiere or buy a ticket to the 12:01 showing weeks in advance. These moviegoers are risk takers and are anxious to be there. Much like my friends when The Phantom Menace came out, they are there for the experience. Very little, if anything, was needed to get us to raid the costume closet at church and show up in Jedi costumes that were intended to clothe shepherds during Christmas plays. We were going to be in line, regardless of how much marketing was done for that movie. Technology "innovators"...
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