Understanding Technology Adoption

You are reading the Startup Lore - Deyan's guide to creating successful startups.

Table of Contents:
  1. Introduction to the Startup Lore
  2. Understanding Startups
  3. Building the Startup Organization
  4. Achieving Product/Market Fit
  5. Conclusion

Version 0.3 (alpha, i.e. still needs lots of work). Last update on 7/13/2014.

Summary: Technology is adopted differently by the five customer types: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards.

Understanding how consumers adopt new and disruptive technology is fundamental to achieving product/market fit. Geoffrey Moore's book Crossing the Chasm described and popularized a useful framework called the Technology Adoption Life Cycle:

technology adoption life cycle

The graph describes five different customer types:

Geoffrey Moore's key insight was that these five customer types have different profiles and needs, which creates difficulties (shown as gaps) for companies targeting the market. The gap between early adopters and early majority is particularly hard to overcome for startups, which is why Moore called it a "chasm." The book offers a lot more valuable insight and I highly recommend reading it.

Next, I turn my attention to the two questions that startups need to answer to achieve product/market fit:

I will discuss these two questions in the next chapters, using an adapted version of the Lean Startup framework, created by Eric Ries, and the Customer Development framework, created by Steve Blank.

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