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The Law of Diffusion of Innovation

How many of you have learned about the law of diffusion of innovation? Most people with a marketing background would’ve at least heard of this law. Coming from an IT background, I had no such privilege; it came to me in the form of a Simon Sinek TED Talk video. The law explains how a new product is received in a market, or simply put: the diffusion of innovation, pretty simple isn’t it?

(Source: Wikipedia with some edit of my own to include the chasm)

As you can see, it’s a standard bell curve that is split up into different segments:

  • Innovators
  • Early adopters
  • Early Majority
  • Late Majority
  • Laggards

There’s also The Chasm (marked in red) – described as the tipping point before any product is accepted by the mass market and it sits snugly between the early adoptors and the early majority. Until your product reaches the tipping point, you have not achieved mass market penetration.

Now consider this – there are 3 types of people in this world:

  • The ones who play the game
  • The ones who watch the game
  • The ones who have no idea that the game is being played

If you apply the above statement on top of the diffusion of innovation theory, right before the tipping point:

  • Innovators – The ones who play the game
  • Early adopters – The ones who play the game
  • Early Majority – The ones who watch the game
  • Late Majority – The ones who watch the game
  • Laggards – The ones who have no idea that the game is being played

We will fall into different segments in different points in time. Knowing where you stand and being able to shift gears accordingly will prove to be extremely advantageous.

How well do you know the market?

How will the market receive your product?

What kind of player are you?

Author’s note: This post is inspired by the words of Seth Godin, Shihan the poet, and Simon Sinek, in no particular order.



5 thoughts on “The Law of Diffusion of Innovation

  1. Nice post! I would be inclined to make the Late Majority “The ones who have no idea that the game is being played” as well.

    They watch the game after being made aware it is on by the Early Majority.

    This possibly better fits with the Law, which is that the Late Majority takes it up only after seeing something taken up by the Early Majority.

    Laggards hate sport. Full stop.

    Posted by Breen Whitman | 20/11/2011, 6:43 AM
  2. Reblogged this on thefearofsuccess.

    Posted by olawunmitawose | 14/03/2012, 9:27 PM
  3. What’s up i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anyplace, when i read this post i thought i could also make comment due to this good article.

    Posted by options binaires | 29/07/2013, 12:55 AM


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