Start with Why: Law of Diffusion of Innovations (Chapter 7 & 8)

In Chapter 7, Sinek explains the Law of Diffusion of Innovations and how it directly applies to DVR brand Tivo. The Law of Diffusion of Innovations was explained Everett M. Rogers and pertains to the bell curve of product adoption. The curve outlines the percentage of the market who adopt your product, beginning with the Innovators (2.5%), followed by Early Adopters (13.5%), Early Majority (34%), Late Majority (34%) and Laggards (16%).

Sinek’s point in explaining this scenario was that Tivo failed because they chose to market to the middle of the curve, before gaining the acceptance of the left side. He continues to explain that the acceptance by the left side (Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority) is required to gain the middle and right side’s acceptance because they require others to first utilize the product and make the necessary sacrifies before they’ll use they product themselves. As a result, Tivo’s marketing efforts to the large middle market failed. He gives a successful example of this stategy by explaining the civil rights movement and how this grew from a core group of believers on the side to a majority.

My big takeaway here is the importance of marketing to the left side to build a solid foundation of followers/believers/embassadors to spread the word and gain the fuel the acceptance of the majority. It’s not a strategy, but a requirement.

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