Has diffusion of innovation changed?


We have seen some silicon valley based companies’ recently grow at unprecedented rates, is this just through globalisation of communication and product distribution i.e. quicker access to a larger market, or has something fundamentally changed about the way consumers adopt new products?

A few of the startups with ridiculous growth;

  • And the case of the Yo App — Look at their App store Rank history in the space of 2 weeks:
Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-rise-falter-and-future-of-yo-2014-6

It almost looks like it takes the shape of a bubble bursting (left), or the shape of the Gartner hype cycle, where expectations don’t meet the hype, resulting in a trough. What follows will likely be dependent on whether the individual company has enough funding to survive and whether they can find true product-market fit soon enough.

The growth curve certainly seems to have changed, the question I have is whether it has changed because;

  1. Its easier to access a larger group of innovators than ever before i.e. new media has facilitated a larger network of ‘innovators’
  2. The ease of trial and higher levels of social consumption have lowered the risk of adoption, thereby squeezing the curve towards the left.
  3. People and mass media are valuing new and different more now than in the past, i.e. there are now larger percentages of ‘innovators’, ‘early adopters’ and ‘early majority’.

What do you think?

Do you think this is limited to apps/purely online services, or have Uber and AirBnb dispelled that?

Anyone seen any good research looking at this recently?

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