Early adopters and early leavers

We like to talk about early adopters, but what about early leavers? Getting onboard is great, but getting offboard before the ship starts to sink is even better; or jumping ship causing the ship to go down.

Adoption of an exciting new technology is always desirable. Some technologies, ideas, products take off, others don’t, and it’s usually down to who adopts them, when and how. Having the right group makes all the difference. The printing press proved such a culturally shattering success not because it was written in the books that the printed book would replace the manuscript, but because the right group of people saw the value of print and started using it. Other technologies failed to convince the right audience at the right time, and didn’t make it off the runway.

Early leavers however are quantité négligeable. The no-sayers are not often seen as the heroes of the piece. As more and more people are leaving Whatsapp over Facebook’s revision of its terms of use, few are looking at what it takes for a product to lose the grip it used to have on the population. Who has to leave Whatsapp for the platform to fade into irrelevance? Who would the critical mass is early leavers be in a case like this?

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