The technology adoption curve, part two

The technology adoption curve, part two: The early majority. Representing 34% of the population, the Early Majority are the third in line to adopt new technologies and importantly the joint highest in terms of overall numbers.

Whereas Innovators and Early Adopters will often quite willingly trial, test and adopt new products and services, the Early Majority are slightly more elusive and harder to trigger. Just like Innovators tip and influence Early Adopters, the Early Majority rely on (typically first-hand) recommendations from Early Adopters.

It’s important here to refer to the adoption curve (shown below). Early Adopters do a lot of the pushing (up the curve) in terms of raising awareness and helping a product gain commercial standing. By the time the Early Majority get involved, most of the hard work has been done. The role of the Early Majority is to increase the critical mass of take-up.

Importantly, these people are risk-averse – they want others to take the pain and trials of new technology and will only adopt it once they know their experience will be hassle-free and/or they have easy access to Early Adopters from a technical support or advice perpective.

From a social networking perspective, the Early Majority are Cosmopolites (like Early Adopters) but there is a distinct difference. Using an analogy, where as the Early Adopter would be the person giving the presentation about a service/product, the Early Majority would be in the audience. They would be reporting on the innovation, not experimenting.

But, nevertheless, these people are very important due to their representative size – 34% of the population and a crucial element in the path of technology adoption.