What is the chasm in the technology adoption lifecycle?

50794 2018-09-14 18:45 (Last Updated 2022-01-19 22:56)

Is the innovation disruptive?

Dsruptive innovation vs. Continuous innovation

  • Whether it changes our current mode of behavior or to modify other products and services we rely on.
  • Between continuous and discontinuous lies a spectrum of demands for behavioral change.

High-tech industries introduce disruptive innovation routinely, during which people are converted into customers by following a pattern of normal distribution. The product’s user growth follows an S-curve.

When will people buy a high-tech product?

Technology adoption lifecyle

Disruptive innovation’s customers are converted at different stages in the technology adoption life cycle. They are…

  1. Innovators
  2. Early adopters
  3. Early majority (pragmatists)
  4. Late majority (conservatives)
  5. Laggards
Segment What They Want
Innovators novel, cool and experimental things
Early Adopters gaining advantages or getting products before others
Early Majority proven ROI, instant access, low transition costs, support available
Late Majority adopting as minimal as possible or only when everyone else has adopted
Laggards avoidance to adopt new things

What is the high tech marketing model?

This cycle provides guidance of the high tech marketing model: the way to develop a high-tech market is to work the curve left to right, focusing on each group one by one, because groups on the left promote products for the right ones in a momentum.

Momentum is vital because it can

  1. save costs
  2. make it fast so you won’t miss the window of opportunity before next disruption or competitor

Where is the CHASM?

Inspecting into the technology adoption lifecycle, we can see Crossing the Chasm

  • two cracks

    1. Beneficial usage crack between innovators and early adopters. E.g., Esperanto, VRML, second life, 3D printing. To cross this, we need a flagship application.
    2. Competent majority crack, between early and late majorities. E.g., home automation.scanning and project management software. To cross this, we need to make it easier to adopt.
  • and one CHASM

    1. Early adopter-to-majority chasm. Because their needs are different

      1. Early adopter is buying a change agent - they expect to get a jump on the competition. Having bugs is fine.
      2. The pragmatic early majority is buying a productivity improvement. They want technology to enhance, not overthrow, the established ways of doing business.
    2. The compatibility above leads to two key points

      1. early adopters do not make good references for the early majority
      2. And because of the early majority’s concern not to disrupt their organizations, good references are critical to their buying decisions.
    3. Who did fall into the early adopter-to-majority chasm in 2014? E.g., holograms, pen-based tablets, fuel cells, QR codes (in the US), Massive Open Online Courses, Segways, Motorola iridium.


  1. Understanding Customers: Customer acquisition and demand forecasting
  2. Reaching Customers: Marketing and PR


  1. Survival: Cost Structures, Pricing, and Metrics
  2. Organizational: People and Culture

Beancounters traditionally use command-line tools or self-host servers with private networks, where they have to operate through a computer or a general-purpose text editor on mobile. Beancount.io reduces hassles by bringing open-sourced Android and iOS mobile apps and a secured cloud so that your ledger is now a few taps away from your fingerprint.

Beancount is a computer language that enables double-entry bookkeeping in text files. Once you define financial transactions in the file, it will generate various reports. Martin Blais, the designer of this language, argues that command-line bookkeeping has many advantages - It is fast, portable, open, and customized.

We strongly agree with the argument and share the feeling of empowerment brought by beancount language. And we wanted to do more - introducing the technology to more people. It means that we have to improve the usability and make it more accessible to a broader audience.

Not everyone is a command-line enthusiast, and this is why we build Beancount.io - the personal finance manager for everyone. Here is how it works:

For heavy-duty work, beancounters could still use their computers to edit or view the ledger with their browsers visiting https://beancount.io or syncing with Dropbox. This keeps the flexibility of the command-line tools, while not losing the cross-device access of the cloud-based solution.

For daily light-weight operations, such as instantly adding an entry, beancounters could use the mobile app to connect to the secured cloud.

Mike Thrift, a backend engineering working on this product, says

I used to set up a reminder every day for myself to open my laptop and input records to my bean files. Now, with beancount.io, it is way easier for me to modify my ledger whenever I need it, even when I am outdoors purchasing something in the store.

Zhi Li, a software engineer from Facebook, tells us

I have migrated all my beancount files to beancount.io, and now it works perfectly for my day-to-day usage. I have paid for Pro features like automatic data backup, but I feel there are more things you guys could do to improve the service.

You could sign up now at https://beancount.io/sign-up/ or download iOS or Android App. We streamlined the registration to collect as minimal information as we can from you to bootstrap the service. Then you will get a preset empty ledger that is ready for you to add an entry right away.


Would beancount.io sell my ledger data to any third party?

  • No. We are committed to keeping your data secured and private, and we will never sell your ledger data.

Is my data secured?

  • Yes. We protect your email and ledger with AES256, your password with BCrypt, and your network requests with SSL.

Is my ledger data end-to-end encrypted?

  • No. Due to technical constraints, we still have to decrypt your data into memory when indexing the ledger file in production servers. Therefore, we restrict direct access from any of our team members. Unfortunately, we cannot do this in Intel’s SGX or any security vault due to high costs.

Is this a reliable service I could trust for the incoming few years?

  • Yes. We initially launched Beancount.io on July 4th, 2019, and it has been more than two years that we have operated the service securely and reliably. Therefore, we have no reason not to continue the service in the future.

Can I request new features and sponsor the project?

The Great Plateau

9764 2022-01-13 21:01

The great plateau is the career state that the maintenance of the status quo consumes all your time and energy so that you cannot break through and reach the next level of your life.

Here is some advice to help you move forward.

1. Analyze for yourself based on lessons from others. Set clear and long-term goals.

What are the factors that are pumping or dumping you? Are those factors serving your goals instead of contradicting your goals? Are those goals aligning with each other instead of violating each other?

Be realistic and refer to the base rate ratio when analyzing and setting the goal. For example, Jeff Bezos told a story about a handstand coach’s experience - most people believe that they can learn handstand in two weeks; however, it usually takes six months. When you get stuck, the answers are more likely to be from others, from reality, not from yourself.

Stop aiming at a moving target. Your current situation is possibly what you desired four or five years ago. Don’t be too greedy :)

2. Release burdens and optimize the process.

More specific to those dumping you and wasting your time and energy, could we remove those costs? Maybe that will hurt the upside temporarily; however, could that be the hockey stick growth afterward?

Take a sheet to list your daily operations and mark them as burdens or not. If yes, how to remove them?

3. Make time for deliberate curiosity.

To shake yourself to leave the local optima, you need to set aside some time specifically for something new. The process seems useless at the beginning and may take long time.

You have to be patient. Like what Steve Jobs did when he returned to Apple after the exile, he cut less profitable product lines and waited for the next big wave.

4. Invest in infrastructures.

Business is an infinite game, and you can always accumulate comparative advantages over time. If you have some extra time and are not sure of a clear goal for now, you could always invest in yourself - better mental and physical health to help you fight through battles in the future. Keep learning and knowing more to increase the probability of success. Optimize the business to work more efficiently and live longer on the market.

Finally, do not underestimate your growth. There is a deception phase even with prominent technologies like AI or 3D printing; they seem not to progress for a long time and then suddenly improve at an exponential rate.

The Problem

We, engineers, often boast about leadership without a clear definition of what we are saying. We boast with authority - X years of experience, intimidating titles from prestigious companies, and quotes from big names. We boast with emotions - close friends achieving financial freedom, leaders making a huge impact, and how exciting business is taking off. We boast with logic - the team should be united, we are a team, and then we should be united.

It is OK if boasting is a personal matter. However, unfortunately, flattery lives in the nature of hierarchical corporate life, especially for those from East Asia. Meanwhile, people in the United States tend to say good things to each other so that both parties can feel better. Praises are literally everywhere.

As a result, leadership is like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it.

The Definition

Here are the definitions to distill the clarity from those chaotic ramblings of the mass.

What is leadership?

Leadership is organizing people to solve challenging problems.

What does it really mean?

  1. Leadership is people-centered. We should solve problems for the people, by the people, and of the people.
  2. Problems should be challenging. Those problems could be personal, regional, or world-class. However, if they are not challenging enough to the protagonist, requiring it to break through the status quo and brining shiny changes to itself or to the environment, we will not admire such person and say it is a leader.
  3. Leadership without execution sums up everything to zero. It is not a capability but a trophy. We either have achieved it or not.

What is technology?

Technology is a scientific way of solving problems.

What does it really mean?

  1. Technology applies science. It organizes knowledge based on facts, and with testability and predictability. For example, introduce tests to programming, and then programming becomes more scientific than just an art.
  2. Technology takes pragmatism. Technology serves a purpose - solving problems for people. Designer does not equal to artist. Engineer does not equal to programmer.
  3. Technology itself creates value by transforming low-value input to high-value output.

What is innovation?

Innovation is creating something new.

What does it really mean?

  1. The market is efficient, and the competition is everywhere. You are not alone with technologies. There is no reason that a powerful technology belongs only to you. Technology is not an economic moat, and we could hardly rely on a single technology that is losing comparative advantages over time.
  2. People won’t buy things to replace what they already own that solve their problems well.
  3. Innovation bears costs and risks. Try more and befriend failures.

Well, what is technology leadership?

Technology leadership is organizing people to solve challenging problems with technologies, usually through innovations.

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