My name is Saul! I'm an award winning Word of Mouth Marketer, Professional Speaker on the subjects of Social Media, Customer Service and best of all... Word of Mouth. I collect Air Force One sneakers and think you should hire me... (as a consultant) to teach you how to get your company doing interesting things!
the smartest man in the world.

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Photos from the Drupal Conference in San Francisco, CA 2010

Tuesday, Jan 01, 2011

Are Early Adopters the “Pretty Girl” you can never keep happy?

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I consider myself an early adopter…and because I think I am one of these elusive people I can honestly say that marketing to early adopters are the worst folks to base your marketing efforts at.


Well a couple of years a go I used to sign into Google Latitude everywhere I went because I thought sharing my Location was cool and my ego tricked me into believing that you all cared where I was.  Fast Forward a tiny bit and I am all hooked on Foursquare because I can now tell you where I am and what I am doing. I have stuck with Foursquare but have also played with Gowalla, Where (I really dig Stickybits (I have so many ideas for this), and Glympse (this looks really interesting) because as an early adopter I am always looking ahead and perhaps not appreciating what is in front of me as much as I should.

I used Location Based Apps above but can make the same list for VoIP apps (Skype, Zipring, Viber) or SMS apps (Kik – used it like crazy for a week and not not so much, Groupme etc) and so on and so on.

Take an app like Tripit, in my opinion one of the best apps for travel period and I would be lost without it, what if they focused most of their efforts to business travellers (who will pay for the pro version like I did) by teaming with credit card companies who offer travel cards or travel sites like expedia (and I am not sure if they do or do not do this already) instead of just the folks who try every new app.

I imagine this isn’t going to be a popular suggestion and I honestly don’t have the answer here but would love to hear your thoughts on this.

So, What says you?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Are Early Adopters the “Pretty Girl” you can never keep happy? | Saul Colt – Saul is – The Smartest Man in the World --

  2. early adopters, pretty girls that don’t keep you happy? i don’t get the annology, but maybe its because I have never waited for a pretty girl to keep my happy?

    Early adopters are litmus test for lots of companies. They are the brave souls willing to try anything. They often have egg on their faces from telling their friends how GREAT XYZ is, only to find its full of bpa or is selling their secrets to google. But theyr’e vital. They often create trends, weed out the crap & keep us all informed. Keep adopting, Saul!

  3. Saul,

    It is an interesting take on innovation and marketing.

    Apple creates products for the mass audience and markets it as such.

    Twitter was “marketed” to a very small audience yet gained mass appeal.

    So, the question is what is the right model?

    I think developing a product for a specific (read small) market is the way to go. Then enable these early adopters to create mass adoption and demand for the product/service. Trying to create a product for mass consumption (as the initial goal) does not seem like the way to go.

    Just my two cents worth.



  4. bill hartnett about 9 years ago

    Early adopters tend to be early abandoners. Shoot over their heads and hit the early majority right in the noggin.

  5. Enjoying your site and the discussions here.

    My opinion is split on this; I think there is a HUGE difference between marketing a “social” product (where early adoption rejection may be influenced by the lack of activity) and a more traditional web-based product that may kick ass because it is so engaging to use. I, too am an “early adopter” and try – and dump – many products. The ones I stick with are those that are compelling and simple to use. I’ve only rarely come back to something I dumped at a later date… but in those instances, it was due to some “social” characteristic of the product having matured.

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