Early Adopters: Who Cares?

I was reading the Playstation blog recently and I noticed that PSP Go owners are currently able to get one of two decent games as a free download. As I read the comments, I noticed that many people were complaining about Sony not caring about the “early adopters”

To sum it up, Early Adopters are the people who are on the Cutting edge of technology. When “Product X” is released, there are tons of people who will buy it within the first week of release. Whether the item is the greatest thing on the block or is one of the worst things ever, people will buy it.

The problem is, As soon as the “Early Adopting” period has passed most companies decide to sweeten the deal for those who were on the fence about “Product X”. In the case of the PSPGo, it is the Free Game. This is great for those “on the fence” but now, all the Early Adopters will cry foul “Company X doesn’t care about its core people” “Company X needs to cater to the early adopters to keep them happy”

Actually, No, They do not.

Early Adopters are going to Buy Product X no matter what. I personally consider myself an “On the fence person” with Early Adopter tendencies. I bought my 60GB PS3 at the ABSOLUTE last moment possible. I purchased it right when they were offering the five Free movies (remember that deal?)

When the 80GB came out, I wasn’t upset. When the 160/250 GB Slims came out, I still wasn’t upset. Why? because I got what I wanted from a PS3: A device that will play my PS3, PS2, and PS1 games with minimal incompatibility.

Now I know what you’re wondering, “Whose side is this writer on?” honestly, that’s a good question. We as gamers/consumers complain that we hate when “Company X” screw us over. We get mad when they release Product X, and then release X.1 6 months later (Hi Apple) or drop the price of product x and throw in freebies 7 months after release (hello Sony)

Yet… we still buy Product X, Why? Loyalty? Marketing ploys? (Hello EA) To be the first kid on the block with Product X?

I’m sure it’s a combination of all three.

I did a little research, According to Wikipedia the relationship between early adopter and Company X is Synergistic. Mr. (or Mrs.) Early Adopter gets to be first on the block with the shiny new toy at the cost of being a glorified Quality Assurance tester. Company X gets the feedback from the Early Adopter and then makes Product x.1 better and cheaper for Mr.  & Mrs. On the fence, who then pave the way for Product x.2 to be purchased by Mr.  & Mrs. I’ll buy it when everything is worked out just before Product Y comes out.

This reminds me of a (heavily paraphrased) biblical story:  There is a man who owns a field and needs workers. He hires worker A in the morning for one gold piece for the whole day. He then hires Worker B around noon for the same rate of one gold piece to work the day. Finally, he hires worker C around late afternoon for the same one gold piece to work the field for the rest of the day. At the end of the day, Worker A gets upset and throws a fit. The owner of the field asks “why?”You agreed to work for one gold piece. Anyone else who works the field gets the same one gold piece, the agreed upon rate because that’s what I want to do.

What I’m trying to say is that as an early adopter, there will be times you will be rewarded for your efforts, and there will be other times where those who come after you will benefit from your sacrifices. If you don’t like the way it’s being handled, don’t be an early adopter anymore.

Will the early adopter ever go away? Doubtful, there is always going to be fans of company X who will follow them into the sea like lemmings with the release of every new product.

“ZOMG! It’s a new Product from UbiCraft!”

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  • Alex

    Early adopters of PSPGo! have already had their share of freebies. Just before Christmas one could get Grand Turismo, AC Bloodlines or Motorstorm through a redeemable code for free, just by downloading a certain theme.

    Although I’m not sure if this was available to American audiences, it certainly was quite the deal for Europeans.

  • You are exactly right! This was an awesome article.

  • Very good, and very true!