Why I’m not an early adopter

I’m not an early adopter.

Early adopters must own the latest devices. They run ahead of the pack. They upgrade computers and software before everyone else.

Early adopters use the latest smartphones. They buy cars with weird features. They queue up for iPhones, iPads, games consoles or the newest version of Microsoft Windows.

Their computers never work because they are awash in beta and alpha versions of software screwing things up.

And some of their kit is, well, unfinished.

Computer makers depend on early adopters. They use them as guinea pigs.

Marketing types will tell you early adopters will buy a product first to steal a march over the rest of humanity. They claim they will be the first to reap the benefits of the new product.

This can be true. Yet early adopters often face the trauma of getting unfinished products to work.

There’s another reason computer makers love early adopters—they pay more.

New products usually hit the market with a premium price. Once a product matures, the bugs eliminated and competition appears, profit margins are slimmer.

Being an early adopter is fine if you enjoy playing with digital toys. If productivity isn’t as important to you as being cool. And if you have the time and money to waste making them work.

I don’t. I prefer to let others try things first. Let computer makers and software developers iron out the wrinkles while the product proves its worth. Then I’ll turn up with my money.

In technology the early bird pays the bill.