You’d best start believing in the S-curve, fellas. You’re in one

You'd best start believing in the S-curve, fellas. You're in one

The technology lifecycle (both for business and emerging tech) is a thing people often mention.

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You start with innovators and end with late adopters. First wealthy techies pick up smartphones and eventually grandmas are taught to use a touchepad. This thing:

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Both pictures are from Wikipedia by the by.

This is a mainstream concept researched in fancy academic articles and the like.

People have a false idea that once you get to the late majority, making money becomes impossible. That by that time competition sets in, tech is done, and you might as well move on to the next big thing. 

That’s not how selling tech works.

Otherwise nobody would be making any money on factory equipment.

What you have are audiences with different dispositions.

Let’s say you’re working on them Smart Cities, or some sort of ungodly Panopticon surveillance system to encase all the major continents. Whatever happens to be sexy.

Someone who is an Innovator and picks tech up early has a very different personality and mindset from a Laggard. Namely, they’re less risk-averse and will be higher in a psychological trait called Openness.

You’ll find them dwelling in different places both online and offline. They’ll travel more, read different publications, and be subscribed to people like me. They’re probably a Millenial, with all the baggage that entails. So they’re more likely to rent stuff as opposed to owning it, spend more time on the web, are less likely to have kids, and so on.

There’s a whole heap of assumptions you can go into based on demographics alone.

Most people will stop here, they’ll match the likes and interests and blast them with their “Panopticon Today, Gulag Tomorrow” ads.

Here’s another layer for those of us who want to stand out, though:

This chart only relates to ONE technology at a time. A person who is a Laggard when it comes to phones might be a complete Innovator when it comes to rock climbing gear. They may be highly conservative overall, but really push in that one area of expertise. It’s where the real sweet spot of finding a target audience is.

People are the sum of actions that they take, things they repeatedly do.

And everyone is already an innovator in something. Getting them to channel the same approach to other things is a matter of getting them to CARE. It’s how business-savvy 50-year-olds were among the first people to pick up mobile phones. They had the pre-existing preference.

I.e, they were buyers of things that helped them in business relationships.

The problem that they had, but didn’t know about yet created demand in their minds.

And then phones were there to accommodate. The title claims this is the first cell phone ad. Doesn’t matter if it is, but it’s here to illustrate a point:

This instinctively makes you compare your existing way of doing things (stationary phone) with a better way of doing things (mobile) and creates a problem that needs to be solved in your brain.

Marketing of the future isn’t about finding demand, but about predicting and creating it.

In fact, we already do a lot of that.

Yet folks chase after markets based on the existing preference rather than underlying psychology. Because preferences are “safe” – we have a lot of data on them, we know roughly what the person might look for.

Psychology behind decision-making is anything but “safe”, but it is where the trend and the big money is. It’s why I prefer oldschool marketing to this new, “soft touch” approach. Oldschool is all about influencing buying decisions. New school is about standing there looking pretty.

In short – yes, you can HELP someone become an innovator.

And it’s a beautiful thing to do.

But that’s neither here nor there, just your Vizier setting things up for a future plot. Don’t pay it any mind.

Speaking of decisions, I have a new offer called the Scheming Sessions. Slots are limited.