I never have been. “Look before you leap” is definitely one of my character traits. People are often surprised by that, given my career in CE and my visibility on social media. Yet despite the fact that it seems like I’m on Twitter 24/7 I didn’t sign up for Twitter until about two years ago, and Facebook about two years before that. My first iPhone was a 3G and I don’t even have an iPad yet (more about that in a minute). I love technology; I just take my time with it.
Besides being my basic nature to look before I leap, my philosophy about being a late-adopter was definitely influenced by the words of my mentor who hired me at Sony Canada back in the 90s. “Lee,” he said “Never buy the first generation of anything!”
And he was right. Let other people pay for the right to be Beta testers with first generation product. That’s why I’ve held off on an iPad so far: iPad2 is coming, we all know it. One of two things are going to happen: Maybe the new iPad will be so much better than the original that I can justify buying one. Even if it’s only a nominal upgrade inventory of iPad 1.0 will be pretty heavily discounted, and I don’t mind paying less for last year’s product.
That’s not to say that I have any disdain for Early Adopters. On the contrary, I love you guys.
I made a tidy living for a long time selling the newest, coolest, shiniest things to Early Adopters, and more often than not taking deposits for products that hadn’t even been released yet. Catering to early adopters and helping make them happy goes a long way towards converting customers into clients and generating repeat and referral business.