Practical Applications of Rogers’ Theory: Why We Are Firing Donna

At this point, you’re probably wondering why you’re all here. I made way too much chili last night and I don’t have any more room in my freezer because I forgot that I already made too much chili three days ago. So that’s why that crockpot is over there. I didn’t bring bowls, but there are spoons that I swiped from the Chinese takeout place next door. The delicious chili is the ancillary reason for our meeting today, although it’s really very good and you should eat it. I don’t like chili so I’m not going to have any.

The five of you have been specifically chosen based on the fact that you each embody one of the categories of adopters in Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations theory. If you don’t understand what that means, don’t worry about it and just focus on the chili. A nice, crusty bread would be good with it. I don’t have any but I think there’s a few packets of saltines in my desk. Wait, no, sorry, I used those to lure some squirrels onto my head. I wish at least one of you had thought to compliment my hair today.

Anyway, Lucy, I see that you were the first one over to the crockpot, and you’ve now discovered that there aren’t any spoons. I was banned from ever entering the Chinese place over a year ago. You, Lucy, are our Venturesome Innovator- dipping your cupped hands right into the crockpot, chili running down your forearms and and smearing all over your face. You didn’t even check to see how hot the contents of the crockpot were. I bet you’re regretting that now. If you dig around the bottom of my purse you’ll likely find a salve that you can apply to your burns.

Vincent, having observed the consequences of Lucy’s audacious voraciousness, has chosen to put on a pair of latex gloves from the box on the windowsill before using his hands to ladle some chili into his mouth. This will provide some protection from burns and allow for easier cleanup of his hands, but it’s gross because none of us knows where those gloves have been, and we have no reason to believe that they are new. That box was opened, Vincent, and the gloves were haphazardly shoved inside. Nonetheless, you, Vincent, are our Respectable Early Adopter.

Moving on to the Deliberate Early Majority, we look to you, Althea. After considering the methods of both Lucy and Vincent, we see that you’re totally going for it, but you’ve washed your hands after donning the probably really gross gloves before sinking them deep into the simmering cauldron of tomatoey, beefy, beany goodness.

Next we have Burt, who has succumbed to the overwhelming pressure of his peers who went before him, and was possibly influenced by the taunting from the crowd saying, “DOOOOO IT BURRRRRRRT!”, and the light poking, which I’ll admit to being responsible for that last part. Burt, you are our Skeptical Late Majority.

Last but certainly least, we have Melissa, who left the room shortly after I mentioned that there weren’t any spoons, but has now returned, spoon in hand, because I guess she’s not banned from the Chinese place. Melissa, we’re going to confiscate your spoon and then take turns using it to flick bits of chili at you, because no one likes you, and you are our Traditional Laggard, oriented to the past, determined to use a spoon for eating chili.

In summary, I need someone to clean out my crockpot immediately. Then get out of here.