Early Adopters Versus the Early Majority

Geoffrey Moore’s ground-breaking book Crossing the Chasm explains that in the technology adoption life cycle there is a vast chasm between the early adopters and the early majority. While early adopters are quick to understand the advantages of a new technology or system, the pragmatists wait until they know that the technology actually offers improvements in their life or work. The challenge for innovators and marketers is to narrow this chasm in order to accelerate the adoption process.

An important method for communicating the advantages of IoT and smart city technologies to the later adopters is to make it personal. For example, instead of discussing smart grid integration and kilowatts, the energy industry should explain how the consumer will save money and energy usage with a smart meter. Another example: the majority of city residents do not understand sensors and NB-Fi radio, but utility companies can explain how such smart systems will detect water leaks before the damage becomes physically apparent. Advertising needs to present realistic examples of the day-to-day advantages of smart city technology, whether finding a parking space, knowing where the bus is while you’re waiting for it, or preventing a disaster at home.