Notes from a Floating Life Thoughts about productivity, digital living, and leading a simpler life

Does It Matter If You're an Early Adopter?

Someone surrounded by gadgets

No, it doesn’t. Yet many people seem to take an inordinate amount of pride in being among the first to adopt a new device or technology.

Some people jump on the early adoption bandwagon because they believe that they can help shape the direction of a device or an app or a service. I’m not sure about that. While they can make suggestions, there’s no guarantee those suggestions will be considered or acted upon.

Often, early adopters are finding problems and bugs, and doing it for free. Worse, they’ve forked out good money for the dubious privilege of being an unpaid tester. They’re doing the work that a company should have done, or should be doing, by itself rather than undertaking what’s essentially a stealth crowdsourcing campaign.

Often, being an early adopter is more of a statement of status than anything else. An affirmation of their geek cred, being the first among their peers to get their hands on something new and shiny. In the wider scheme of things, that distinction is meaningless.

In the end, being an early adopter doesn’t have an impact on your life, your well being, or your productivity. It doesn’t make you smarter or better than others or more attractive. It doesn’t make you a vanguard or show that you’re more attuned to trends than most people.

All being an early adopter means is that you’re an early adopter. Nothing more.

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