Friday, February 23, 2007

Innovation Resistance (Part Three)

Following the previous posts a bout Innovation resistance Part One and Part two, here is the third and last part.

As I already said, resistance to any form of change is a natural reaction. I tried to classify the first three forms in this "post trilogy", here is the last and more general one.

The third form of innovation resistance is the lifestyle lock-in.
When we propose innovation, we are always replacing or modifying someone's habits and way of thinking. We are removing the safe harbors of being acquainted, accustomed to this or that behaviour.
When we find someone that has made the first step to change (the so-called early adopter), he/she finds often stuck in a dilemma: "if everything has been working fine so far, why do I have to change?". People go back to their habits at the first "serious" difficulty. What's never clear is how to quantify the "serious" value. People tend to change lifestyle only if they see that there is a net advantage in changing.
Example. The video recorder allows timeshifting, so that you are not put into slavery by TV schedules: how many times you hear people saying "Sorry, today I can't go out because I have to watch the latest XYZ episode"? The timeshifting "feature" came up only after some early adopter put it in practice, in real life. Word of mouth did the rest.

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