An early adopter or lighthouse customer is an early customer of a given company, product, or technology. The term originates from Everett M. Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations.
What is ‘Early Adopter’
An individual or business who uses a new product or technology before others. An early adopter is likely to pay more for the product than later adopters, but accepts this premium if using the product improves efficiency, reduces cost, increases market penetration or simply raises the early adopter’s social status. Companies rely on early adopters to provide feedback about product deficiencies, and to cover the cost of the product’s research and development.
Explaining ‘Early Adopter’
The rate of diffusion, or adoption, of a new product by the market at large can vary according to the type of product and its price. Early adopters in the business world face a high level of risk in that they are using a product or technology that may not be perfected, and which may not work with the products used by suppliers and customers or may not be compatible with other products they own.
- The economics of policy borrowing and lending: A study of late adopters – www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
- The influence of financial incentives and other socio-economic factors on electric vehicle adoption – www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
- Mandatory IFRS reporting around the world: Early evidence on the economic consequences – onlinelibrary.wiley.com [PDF]
- Bitcoin: Economics, technology, and governance – www.aeaweb.org [PDF]
- Using Aplia in finance classes: student perspectives and performance – clutejournals.com [PDF]
- Mobile banking and economic development: Linking adoption, impact, and use – www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
- What integrated reporting changed: the case study of early adopters – www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
- International Financial Reporting Standards: what are the benefits? – www.tandfonline.com [PDF]