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Friday, November 19, 2004

"The Early Adopter Gets the Worm"

In the acronym-laden landscape of computer technology the term "early
adopter" refers to consumers who are willing to invest their dollars
into the "latest and greatest" gadgets and doodads despite the
often-exorbitant prices associated with new technology.

The reason why new technology costs so much, only to later be devalued
significantly after a few months, has to do with the enormous cost of
developing modern technology. Once the cost of developing a specific
technology have been paid for, corporations are happy to lower costs, as
they know sales will boom and profits will be enormous.

In a recent issue of "Backwoods Home Magazine", one of the senior
editors asked the burning question "Do we really need Yuppies?" The
answer was a resounding "Yes!" Without a middleclass, burdened with
disposable incomes (often larger than their supply of common sense) and
passionate technology lusts, there simply wouldn't be enough early
adopters to drive technological progress.

But, does it pay for the average consumer to be an early adopter? From
my perspective, then answer is a resounding "No!" and especially not
during the holiday season, which often sees the greatest introduction of
new technologies to the mass market.


Well, beside the increased expense. New technology, especially in the
last few years, is less and less reliable when initially released.
Computer components will often go through multiple hardware and firmware
revisions during their first year on the market. This turns early
adopters into guinea pigs for technology companies and what is worse,
consumers have paid for the privilege of "testing" the technology for
the company! Thorough testing is something that should have been done
well before releasing it to the general consumer market.

This is especially true for computer games, which more often than not,
are overpriced and in serious need of patching when first released. Not
to mention the fact that the newest titles often require relatively
up-to-date computers to run optimally. It almost always pays, literally,
to wait a year to 18 months after a game is released to purchase it.
This gives the publisher enough time to work out all the bugs and will
usually provide significant price reductions to the patient consumer.
Publishers are also fond of releasing "add-ons" to games that have been
around for a while, which can again often be found bundled with the
original game for a discounted price.

posted by Kusari 7:38 PM

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