Monday, August 9, 2010

Killing Me Softly

The bell curve of any good thing is a brilliantly bulbeous thing indeed. It may have started off as a book about the intelligence factor in Americans, but we all now recognize the bell curve as something that illustrates how trends are adopted, taper up in popularity, then spread to the general audience before landing in front of those who are last to embrace it. When applied to technology, this idea is known as Roger's Bell Curve. The funny part is that Roger's Bel Curve originally was meant to study the patterns of hybrid seed corn by farmers.

"Beal, Rogers and Bohlen together developed a technology diffusion model and later Everett Rogers generalized the use of it in his widely acclaimed book, Diffusion of Innovations (now in its fifth edition), describing how new ideas and technologies spread in different cultures. Others have since used the model to describe how innovations spread between states in the U.S.

The technology adoption lifecycle model describes the adoption or acceptance of a new product or innovation, according to the demographic and psychological characteristics of defined adopter groups. The process of adoption over time is typically illustrated as a classical normal distribution or "bell curve." The model indicates that the first group of people to use a new product is called "innovators," followed by "early adopters." Next come the early and late majority, and the last group to eventually adopt a product are called "laggards."


Of course, the bell curve idea of early adopters versus the rest of the world should not be mistaken for The Bell Jar, a classic in feminist literature.

Nor should the idea of anything to do with technology influencers and emotional appeal be mistaken for anything to do with the newly released (probably straight to video) movie, the Killing Jar...something about trapping a bunch of insects or worse.

Not at all like The Killers recent music video where the band appears to be dressed up like large insects while they sing about some other planet during a three course meal. I know what you are thinking, but it's still a good song, though.

Speaking of a good song, here is a good read about how digital adapters adopt and why it's essential to know that it's more about reaching the influencers as opposed to influencing the late adopters. Another way of saying it: get ahead of the curve.