The adoption of any new technology by the market typically goes through different phases, as depicted in the diagram. The Innovators are a class of customers who are always keen to be the first ones to experience new technology. These are the people who sleep overnight, outside the Apple Store, to be the first ones to get their hands on the new iPhone. You can identify them amongst your friends as the “gadget freaks”. They always buy the new car, new phone, new watch,etc.
The second phase of the life-cycle are the Early adopters who buy the technology because it gives them certain benefits. These are the people who buy a smart phone because it enables them to send/receive emails on the move. It allows them to take pictures, post them to Instagram and so on. The third phase is the early majority who buy technology because others are buying it and it gives them proven benefits. They do not want to risk being too early and they wait for the product to be accepted by their peers.
The late majority are the people who do not want to be left behind.
They buy technology because everyone else has it, and without it, they risk becoming outdated.
The laggards are conservative people who struggle to keep pace with technology.
The Chasm is the bridge that Technology providers have to cross. 70% of the new products fall in the chasm. They never make it to the main street. The secret of the successful product companies is that they listen to their customers, refine their products and ensure that customer needs are met, at the early stage. The product companies that do not refine their product / strategy, based on initial customer feedback, are the ones that fall in to the chasm.
IoT, as we speak, is in the Early adopter stage. Today’s customers are buying IoT solutions because they want to solve specific business problems. Some of them want to reduce cost in order to compete better. Some of them want to design better products and some of them want to respond faster to customer issues.There are close to 70 technology providers around the world for IoT solutions. But, the market penetration is yet to cross the chasm.The companies that are refining and fine-tuning their products, based on the early customer, are the ones that will cross the chasm and hit the main streets.
The potential for IoT is immense. We are just looking at the tip of the proverbial iceberg.