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Fuck the innovators

If you're currently developing a new product or service that falls within the scope of trendy technology, you're probably marketing your ass off to the early adopters. Even if you have a product and it's in Beta or release phase, you're most likely Tweeting and Facebooking away to the in-crowd that will 'get' your product because they're up to scratch on the latest technology and its applicable functions.

Well fuck them. It makes no sense to target the incestuous clique that is your 'primary target market' as I'm betting they are. They will understand your product, and they might communicate with you and give you feedback on how to improve, but unless you want this to remain a garage operation then it's time to broaden your horizons. These people, as nice as they may be, have their heads so far up their own and each others' asses that they've got no incentive to spread the message further. Even if they are altruistic on your account, the chance that a convertible message from them to their lamen followers will be passed on is minimal.

Let's take location-based services for instance. Everyone's heard of FourSquare right? Wrong. You've heard about it, over and over, because you're in a closed network plagued with homophily so you keep receiving news about FourSquare from people that are in similar networks. The truth is that even in America, 80% of the general public haven't even heard of LBS never mind tried any of the services falling under that category.

If you want to be profitable, you'll need to scale. Your business model is irrelevant - whether it's advertising or subscription-based revenue, you'll need the numbers to grow. Early innovators make up for less than 14% of the demographic you're trying to target. You need to think about how you're going to penetrate the 85th percentile and below. Brown-nosing early innovators is not the way to go.


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