Friday, July 3, 2015

The Nine Stages of Innovation

Did you know there is an entire area of study within sociology (including media sociology) called diffusion of innovations?

That came back to my mind when I saw this post on today. He's writing based on an article from Time magazine, and I'll quote his entire post:

Near the end of a piece by Morgan Housel called Innovation Isn't Dead, appears "the typical path of how people respond to life-changing inventions":
1. I've never heard of it.
2. I've heard of it but don't understand it.
3. I understand it, but I don't see how it's useful.
4. I see how it could be fun for rich people, but not me.
5. I use it, but it's just a toy.
6. It's becoming more useful for me.
7. I use it all the time.
8. I could not imagine life without it.
9. Seriously, people lived without it?
That's about right. I can only recall a couple of instances where I've skipped from step 1 to step 8 or 9: when I first used the Web and when Jobs introduced the iPhone at MacWorld. Everything else -- Google, HD TV, Twitter, personal computers, streaming music services, wifi, laptops, Instagram, mobile phones -- went through most of the 9 phases. 
I remember being confounded at the idea of broadband (which wasn't yet called that at the time). You mean I won't have to dial in through the phone to be connected? My computer will be connected all the time? Isn't that a waste of resources? Won't someone be able to get into my computer from the other direction (yes!).

I agree with Kottke on the iPhone. I went from 1 to 8 or 9 immediately in June 2007, but I was already a PalmPilot user who liked to take pictures and was annoyed about having to carry three devices (counting my old feature phone). When I first saw a friend's Palm Treo, which could do email, my eyes got very round.

The iPod, on the other hand, was of no interest to me and until it was incorporated into the iPhone, I never had one.

1 comment:

Gina said...

I went through the 9 phases about personal computers, starting in 1984 when my brother introduced me to the MacIntosh. I remember not being that impressed with it, and not seeing the possibilities it presented, especially for writing. I took a community ed course a couple years later to learn about computers and remained unconvinced. It wasn't until I began temping in 1995 and had to learn Office software that I began to understand. I still didn't buy my own personal computer until 2003. Now I can't imagine my life without my laptop.....