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Discuss: Up for Early-Adoption

This week, Apple aficionados waited with bated breath for the announcements to come out of the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference.  In past years, the announcement of a new product (iPhone, iPad, etc.) has created a frenzy.  People wait in line for hours, and sometimes days, to be one of the first to see, touch and feel the product.  And Apple-philes aren’t the only people who go a bit cuckoo for new technology.

The Google Glass has been generating more buzz than a swarm of Africanized honey bees.  A few days ago, I was walking through Farragut North when I spotted a man wearing one.  The way the other commuters were staring at him, some were literally tripping over themselves to get a better look.

All of this got me thinking about the difference between consumers who are “early adopters” and those who are happy to wait awhile and buy new-ish things.

I’ve never been so excited about a product that I would wait in line for more than 30-minutes to buy it.  I’ve never sat outside overnight to be the first one to see a newly released movie.  And I don’t foresee that changing.  The way I see it, the movie will still be out next weekend, and I can order the gadget later or pick up that limited edition dress on eBay tomorrow.

What about you, have you ever waited in line to buy a product first or to buy something that was limited edition?  If so, what was it, and how long did you wait?



  1. Pancakes says:

    I like to wait a few months to see just how buggy new technology is. For example, the MacBook Pros with retina overheat very easily. So, I didn’t purchase that b/c I didn’t wait to purchase the 1st edition of the MacBook Air and the overheating problem is precisely what drives me nuts about it.

    The only time I make a trip the day of is for something that will sell out quickly and won’t return (like a limited edition clothing item). And even then, I’ll either go early or late and don’t fight the masses.

    I would never wait in line for something. I don’t even go shopping on Black Friday, ha.

    June 14, 2013/Reply
  2. Ashley says:

    I’ve waited in line at the local bookstore 3+ hours so I could get the new Harry Potter book when it was released at midnight. And then I would do the same thing at the movie theatre so I could get a good seat for the midnight showing. I did this for books (and movies) 4-7

    June 14, 2013/Reply
    • J says:

      I’m with the posters above. I usually wait a month to buy new technology because I like to read reviews posted by users first.

      I never waited in the bookstore for Harry Potter but did wait in line to see midnight showing of a couple of the movies. I pre-ordered so Amazon would deliver the book to my house the day it came out.

      I could be doing so many other things with my time, I generally don’t wait in lines. I’m the person who goes grocery shopping at 6 am or 10 pm to avoid checkout lines. Two situations where I don’t mind waiting in lines are waiting to ride roller coasters and waiting in security lines at big events like the Inauguration.

      June 14, 2013/Reply
  3. Lar says:

    Same. Nothing gets me that excited. I’m not sure what’s so great about being the first? Just to say you were the first?

    And is it just me but aren’t those glasses hideous? I mean, sure, it does cool stuff but you look terrible wearing them.

    June 14, 2013/Reply
  4. Katy says:

    I’m ashamed to admit that I was a part of the infamous mayhem at Target on the Missoni launch day.

    June 14, 2013/Reply
  5. mginwa says:

    I did wait in line for the Harry Potter books, and I’m glad I did. To me it wasn’t getting them a few hours earlier that mattered–it was the cultural phenomenon of it. I don’t think people will ever line up for a book again in my lifetime, perhaps ever, and that’s why I did it. And the camaraderie of the line was amazing.

    June 14, 2013/Reply
  6. Cynthia W says:

    I used to be more of an early adopter, but it really burns my britches to pay full-price and then watch the price on technology drop so much over time. I did pre-order the iPhone 5, but I didn’t wait in line to do it and I didn’t wait in line to pick it up.

    With most tech stuff, it will still be there in a few months, so I’m not really in a hurry. I would have beta’d the Google glasses, but not at the price they were offering.

    June 14, 2013/Reply
  7. Erin says:

    No, but if I lived in NYC, I might wait in line at 5:30am for a “cronut”…

    June 14, 2013/Reply
  8. K says:

    With regard to technology, I’m never the first in line. I am more than happy to wait for the 2nd or 3rd version of something to come out so that the major bugs have been fixed and the price has (hopefully) come down a bit.

    My sister and I did go to the premiere of the final Harry Potter movie, and got tickets in advance on Fandango but other than that I usually try to go the following weekend.

    June 14, 2013/Reply
  9. Addison says:

    I agree with the other commenters. Unless there’s going to be a limited number of something, like concert tickets or a limited edition item, why does it matter if you were one of the first? I’ve never preordered a book, movie or album and I’ve never waited in line to buy something. Unless its really old and giving me problems I’m in no hurry to get the latest and greatest phone or laptop, I hate figuring out new technology. I did go to a midnight showing of a movie once but that was just because it was a fun experience with a bunch of my roommates

    June 14, 2013/Reply
  10. Ella says:

    Waiting in line* doesn’t really bug me, but crowds are the worst. I don’t shop on Black Friday because of the hoards of people. Shudder.

    I’m not an early adopter because I prefer for other people to vet the thing first. I don’t even start watching TV shows until they’ve won a few Emmy’s and have lots of buzz, but once I adopt them, I’m very loyal.

    *I’m talking about 30 minutes to a few hours in line. Waiting in line so long that sleep and hygiene become issues is absolutely out of the question.

    June 14, 2013/Reply
    • Ella says:

      Autocorrection: Emmys.

      June 14, 2013/Reply
  11. kathleen lisson says:

    I was in the Capitol when New York passed Gay Marriage and I felt honored to be present at a bit of history.

    June 14, 2013/Reply