The End of Early Adoption?

Early adopters. They used to be a thing. I had a few friends who always bought the newest gadgets and tried the latest technology well before me and the general public. They were on Twitter in 2007. They were on their second iPhone when I was lugging around some sad flip-phone. They were digging into Daily Kos and Little Green Footballs when the rest of us stuck to mainstream media political coverage.

A few weeks ago, Meerkat seemed to blow up. SXSW was documented in real time via hundreds and thousands of phones. Then, Twitter acquired Periscope and now those same live videographers are Periscoping the hell out of everything. Medium has gone from fringe to cup in the blink of an eye. The same with Snapchat.

And this happens almost every week with something—making early adoption seem like a thing of the past. Early isn't what it used to be because products get built and information about them gets delivered faster than ever. Curiosity, Internet access, and some means open nearly all doors.

Brands were relatively slow to embrace Twitter and Facebook. Now, they're jumping nimbly from medium to medium—sometimes even before they know there is or will be an audience. The cost is lower for them, too; they can dabble on Snapchat and Periscope without knowing the value for their companies. I would argue that they must

There is no more early or late adoption. Rapid adoption is the new norm.