Technology Adopotion Life Cycle

  Innovators (I)

The enthusiasts who like technology for its own sake.

Early Adopters (EA)

Those who have the vision to adopt an emerging technology to an opportunity that is important to them.

The Chasm (C)

Time gap in technology adoption, which is between the early adopters and the pragmatists.

 Pragmatists (P)
Early Majority

 Early majority pragmatists are the solid citizens who do not like to take the risks of pioneering, but are   ready   to see the advantages of tested technologies. They are the beginning of a mass market.

 Pragmatists (P)
Late Majority

Late majority pragmatists, who represent about one-third of available customers, dislike discontinuous innovations and believe in tradition rather than progress. They buy high-technology products reluctantly and do not expect to like them.

Traditionalists / Laggards

Traditionalists (laggards) do not engage with high technology products - except to block them. They perform the valuable service of pointing out regularly the discrepancies between the day-to-day reality of the product and the claims made for it.

According to Moore, the most important time gap in technology adoption, which he calls the Chasm, is between the early adopters and the early majority pragmatists. Many high tech companies have floundered in the chasm, just after volume starts to rise at the end of the early adoption phase. All too often, sales suddenly dry up if the early majority (mainstream customer) does not buy.

The behavior of the consumer market is clear. Some consumers will always be attracted to new technology for its own sake (the innovators). Others will quickly see the useful benefits and will risk buying the new product and endure the high expense and the early bugs (the early adopters). The key question is: Will the pragmatic solid citizens, on whom the success of the manufacturer and retailer depend, be attracted to form an early majority of users?

Moore suggests that high tech companies who successfully cross the chasm first establish a niche in the mass market from which they can expand. Moore recommends developing scenarios by assessing, for example, what a particular delivery technology could give to distinct groups of customers in the way of useful product applications. The purpose is to tune a particular combination of the triad of form, function and product design into a powerful value proposition. If that is achieved, then those consumers will have a compelling reason to adopt the technology.