Vision Pro and the adoption curve

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read
Vision Pro and the adoption curve

Above is a deranged version of the innovation curve that is often brought out when thinking about products (often tech products specifically).

Here’s a better one:

A very few people are “innovators” who are there on day one for new stuff and are willing to look past flaws or user experience issues because they are eager to experience the future now. On the other end are “laggards” who are skeptical of new stuff and really wait for it to get everything ironed out before they are willing to put their money down. None of these categories make someone better than anyone else, we just all have different feelings about new tech.

Then there’s “the chasm” which is where so many new pieces of technology fail. They get the “innovators,” and they might creep into the “early adopters,” but they can’t get past that into the mainstream. We don’t have time to talk about that much more, but I will gesture generally at NFTs,Web3, and Clubhouse and you probably get the point.

Most people reading this blog likely see themselves generally on the left side of this curve, and I’d personally say that overall I’m probably in the “early adopter” camp.

But while we generally fall in a certain range, we’re all different for different products. Just speaking for myself, I see myself in the “innovator” or “early adopter” range for smartphones and LLMs, but I’m more of an “early” or “late majority” of things like video editors or task managers.

I say all of this because in less than 12 hours Apple’s Vision Pro will be available for pre-order, and some number of people will be feverishly hitting the Apple Store trying to lock in their order for day one. These are the “innovators” and tomorrow is their day. They’re not better than anyone else because they see the future and others don’t, nor are people holding off any better just because they want to see how this all shakes out before buying in. You’re just in different camps.

To all those ordering one tomorrow, may the DNS gods be kind and may the Apple Store gremlins confirm your payment with ease. I’ll just sit here with my fellow “early adopters” and see how this all goes before we start saving our pennies to try and get one later this year.