Uber and the Adoption Curve

2016-09-11-18-51-26  Uber and the Adoption Curve 2016 09 11 18

A lineup of yellow taxi cabs sit idle in front of downtown Miami’s Intercontinental Hotel. They’re waiting for a hotel guest to pick up. That is, if the guests don’t have cell phones and have been living under a rock.

I’ve seen these cabbies do this for years. They wait, and wait. Every time I pass by, I wonder how can these people be so behind the curve? All facts point to them wasting their time. They sit, waiting to be picked. I think of the time wasted, and the fact that there is a simple solution in existence to make their lives much better. To make their lives more efficient.

This is a quintessential example of late adopters in the innovation adoption curve. The curve illustrates “the process by which an innovation is communicated over time among the participants in a social system,” according to Wikipedia.

The categories of adopters are innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards.

adoption-curve  Uber and the Adoption Curve Adoption Curve

Essentially, different groups adopt a new technology at different rates. Group, by group, adopts the technology until everyone uses it. Each curve moves at its own pace. TV took. Your grandma was a late adopter when joining Facebook.

We all fall somewhere on the adoption line for each new technology. The question is when everything is subject to a new curve, how do you know which curve you’re on. More importantly, where do you fall?

How do we make sure we’re not the cabbies sitting around unaware how far behind we are?


Also published on Medium.

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