October 25, 2005
Really, it’s not that smart. But where would the automobile, computer and electronics industries be without early adopters? My dad always told me when I was young “don’t buy the first year model of a new body style.” And no, I don’t have the statistics to back it up but he works with cars so he has to know what he’s talking about: they don’t think of everything when they redesign a car. Design flaws and safety recalls and whatnot. Same for electronics and computers but with another good reason thrown in: Money. How many people bought a DVD player when they first came out for $700 (which very likely doesn’t work anymore because of new standards) with movies at least $25 a pop? How many people spending their own money buy the absolutely fastest processor/chipset/memory combo on the market when they build their computers? Or the highest mega-pixel digital camera available? I don’t know anyone personally, which may speak about the general smartness (or poorness) of my friends, but somebody must have. In fact, lots of people. If they hadn’t, the product wouldn’t be around anymore. Or maybe still around but in its first (and inferior) generation because of lack of interest and feedback. Or would there be a different effect? Probably for lots of these people their business is geared toward needing the latest and greatest, but I’ll bet many simply fall into the more-money-than-sense category. I generally think of myself as a smart consumer, but if everyone was like me, these industries would be a lot different. Unless everyone was like me but with more money (or less aversion to debt), then they might be pretty much the same.