This will be a public core concept article and video from the Guardian Academy (TGA). Having an understanding of the differences between information and innovation will be used to develop a foundational awareness to understand what the future of technology might look like. Why do some things seem to go “viral” and take off, whereas other things that are probably superior in technology fall behind? If that interests you then you’ll want to do a deep dive and utilize some multi loop learning on this training.
“Better” Does Not Always Win
“Better” in our minds does not mean better for someone else. There are tribes in Africa who still probably use stone axes and could care less what new strides regulation bodies are making toward Crypto. “Better” may mean more efficient, however it may end up violating someone else’s religious or cultural beliefs.
This will be an important concept when we talk about blockchain. “Better” tech does not always mean it will lead to mass adoption.
Innovation Does Not Scale
Innovation gets attention, information gets adopted.
Here is an example:
Elon Musk gifted me a new car (self driving and entirely autonomous).
Would you like to see it?
Of course, why not? Everyone wants to see innovation.
You want to take a test drive?
Oh by the way, it has no steering wheel, no brakes, no windows, or air bags.
Pretty sure most of you would now back away and say something along the lines of “I’ll pass.”
The innovation got your attention, but not your adoption.
Innovation V Information
Diffusion of Innovation, by Everett M. Rogers is probably the foundation for modern marketing and the roadmap for diffusing new ideas and is a recommended reading to supplement the content found in this article.
Innovation: Widens the gap of uncertainty.
Information: Closes the gap of uncertainty.
“Hey if you do X, Y, Z it’ll lower your A1C levels by 2% to keep you under 5.7%”
Now a doctor can hear that and having the base knowledge to understand will think this makes perfect sense.
Another person might hear that same statement and now they are more confused.
If it widens the gap of uncertainty it is innovation. If it closes the gap of uncertainty it is information.
This is why innovation does not diffuse, it only diffuses when it becomes information.
Different Base Knowledges
Rocky Road- This will explain how and why we get stuck in the chasms and not reaching the audiences we think we are talking to. The concept of Rocky Road is described in TGA foundational training which you can find here, if you haven’t read through it yet.
Each tier (innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, laggards) will have their own base knowledges. Generally speaking innovators will be more educated, travel more, have a wider range of experience, more affluent and so can take bigger means to do so. Each tier will put a different weight on credibility.
Early Adopters Bias Competence Credibility.
Laggards Bias Safety Credibility.
As you move to the right on the curve, the credibility moves from competence to safety.
Do they have a track record for success? Competence Credibility.
Are their peers and other influential people already doing this? Safety Credibility.
It is important to recognize where along the curve you would fall. As an example- If you are late majority (you like waiting until things feel safe and you see lots of other people already doing it), then don’t play in Crypto right now. It’s a mismatch (Crypto at the time of this writing is still in innovators). Remember you can be in various places along the adoption curve for different fields. Just because you’re a laggard in one field doesn’t mean you’ll be a laggard at everything.
Five Adoption Decisions And One Massive Lever
This is how something turns from innovation into information which can lead to adoption.
- Relative Advantage- Why would I do this over something I already do? New thing has to be relatively better than the old but it has to be better in the way the audience values.
- Compatibility- Is this compatible with what I believe in that is important? Does this fit into my life?
- Complexity- How difficult is this?
- Trialability- Can I try it? Being able to demo what the thing is at a low risk to you will lead to more understanding of the information.
- Observability- Can I see it? Someone is way more comfortable with buying a Tesla or solar panels if they see that everyone else has one already.
1 massive lever.
How much reinvention has been allowed?
Viagra was initially developed as a heart medication. Through trials it was found to relieve headaches and through even more trials it did something else that people will pay lots of money for.
If you adopt an extreme dogmatic view of a topic (blockchain is supposed to be X) then you would be the huge limit to the actual adoption. You have decided that Viagra should only be used as a heart medication.
6WU Wisdom Comes From Multiple Perspectives
We hope this article helped to shed some light on an important concept on how technology actually ends up diffusing. Share your takeaways in six words below and then read through what others have also wrote to be able to gain wisdom from their perspectives.
- Diffusion of Innovation- https://www.amazon.com/Diffusion-Innovations-5th-Everett-Rogers/dp/0743222091
- Rocky Road- https://guardianacademy.io/tga-foundations-3-rocky-road/