What It Means To Be An Early Adopter

Nathan Edwards, once an editor at Maximum PC, put up a tweet recently that almost read like a Zen koan:

*buys a thing*
this is great, now i’ll be happy
[six months later] all my things are making me sad
*gets rid of things*
i need new things”

It’s possible Nathan was talking about consumerism in general, but that’s about an apt a description of the early adopter cycle as I’ve ever seen. Eric Klein and I use Nathan’s bit of Twitter poetry to discuss the joys and pitfalls of being an early adopter.


What drives early adopters to participate in an endless upgrade loop? For example, I’m eyeing a new DSLR, even though my current digital camera is excellent. When a new GPU technology arrives, I’m often first in line to upgrade to a new graphics card.

Early adopters adopt based on what they’re passionate about. They often buy into new tech early, for the sake of exploring the tech. It’s partly about knowledge and exploration, but there’s certainly something deeper in the early adopter psyche that drives them to explore new technologies and products based on new tech — even if it’s often just incremental advances.


Despite the recent discussion on cord-cutting, I’ve gone the anti-cord-cutting route: I added more storage to my Dish DVR. Meanwhile, I also discover oddball, subtle differences in browsers as I work through some WordPress site issues. Finally, I experiment a bit with fine art paper for my Canon Pro-100 printer.

Meanwhile, Eric talks about the pain of unlocking his fully-paid-for phones. He also stares into the abyss of headphone DACs and amplifiers. Meanwhile, his company upgrades their 3D Printer to a LulzBot Taz 5, and loves it.



I’ve been playing around with Darkest Dungeon, one of the new generation of Rogue-like games. The game overall tone is hilariously dark, as your characters gradually acquire quirks and defects while trying to beat back the forces of evil. On the tabletop side, I’ve picked up the Ticket to Ride England and Pennsylvania map pack, which adds a few nifty features to the game, creating a somewhat deeper Ticket to Ride experience.

Eric’s dived back into the 2013 XCOM game, now out on tablets. We talk about some of the play decisions we make, such as saving and restoring to prevent character permadeath.

Finally, through the magic of Twitter, I discovered this lovely little short Star Wars film called Kara. It’s not perfect, but hits some great emotional beats and hints at how many different stories could exist in the Star Wars universe.



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