Early Adopters are Great Sneezers

If you’ve ever read Seth Godin’s book “Unleashing the Ideavirus“, then you’ll understand what I’m talking about when I say that sneezers are great early adopters.

I bring this up because of all the recent craze surrounding the iPod and new Apple products that tech guru Steve Jobs has done over the past week. On Sept 5, the company announced that it was releasing a new version of the iPod nano and have it feature many of the items that the popular iPhone has but with one major missing feature – it won’t be able to make phone calls. So for those of you without AT&T service, you can now participate in the craze and get a new iPod nano shortly and then use it to watch video, surf the ‘net, and much more.

Now as soon as Steve Jobs released this news, the next day most news sites had reports about people complaining about the whole issue about “Well if Steve is going to release a non-phone iPod now, what was the point in getting the iPhone in the first place?“. Apple heard these compaints and the next day, Steve, the great damage control guy he possibly is, decided to issue those early adopters the refund of $100 to satisfy their complaints. Will it work? Who knows.

However, the interesting thing is that the possible reason for releasing this innovative iPod nano is because the early adopters experienced the iPhone for themselves and automatically “sneezed” its review to their friends and resulted in unbelieveable sales for AT&T and Apple. However, after Apple probably secured the market and AT&T substantially drew more customers away from other major service carriers, Apple probably decide to increase their market share on mp3 players by taking the technology and having it inserted into the iPod – which is a really great idea.

So unfortunately it takes the involuntary sacrifices from the early adopters (it appears) for the product to eventually evolve and create a big bang for companies and their products. But with the $100 rebate offered for early adopters, it can really help to make the former early adopters happy and then spread the word that Apple cares about them and will do whatever it takes to keep them as customers and this great service will create early adopters again and complete this cyclical process.

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the stories of the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently the Technology Editor at Flipboard, where he observes what's happening in the space while also identifying new topics of interest. In addition, he co-hosts the weekly internet show "The Created Economy," which focuses on what's happening to creators and influencers. Previously, he was a reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding. Ken also has a newsletter you should also subscribe to called "Filed."