The innovators are pioneers. They are the first ones over the mountain. They are the first to tell the rest of society that a brave new world exists on the other side.
Often these individuals do not see themselves as leaders or trendsetters; they feel quite ordinary. Yet it is their unique ability to see the value of a new idea that ultimately transforms our world.
Those not satisfied with the “status quo” are quick to adopt a new and more effective way of thinking. The innovators are the first 2.5 percent of the population to accept a new idea or concept. It is their successful adoption of an innovation that sets the stage for the early adopters, and the rest of society, to change their thoughts and behaviors.
The Early Adopters
Based on the positive response of the innovators, the early adopters begin to change their way of thinking. These individuals tend to become opinion leaders and represent the next 13.5 percent to change their thought processes.
The Early Majority
Once an innovation has been implemented and proven a success by the early adopters, the early majority then jumps in. The early majority relies on the positive experiences of others. They represent the next 34 percent to change their thought processes.
The Late Majority
These skeptical individuals accept a new innovation only after it has become commonplace. They represent the next 34 percent of the population to change.
They resist change and may never adapt to a new way of thinking. They represent from 5 to 16 percent of the population.
If you are so inclined, we urge you to share what you have learned with others. This is the only way a new idea gets diffused into the global brain of society. Without champions like you, sharing their passion about a concept or idea, old engrained paradigms prevail.
You can make a difference either informally by just talking with your friends and family or more formally by starting blogs, chat rooms, discussion groups or by directly influencing the “powers that be” at work, in government and in your schools.
*For your information
The above information about the innovation adoption curve comes from the pioneering work of Everett Rogers, who first outlined his theory in the 1983 book, Diffusion of Innovation. Today diffusion theory is mostly used by marketing experts to demonstrate the path that innovative products like computers or cell phones must take before they become accepted by a majority of the population.