In Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey Moore writes about the critical role that early adopters have in a product’s lifecycle as it gains market acceptance. Early adopters are on the front edge of the bell shaped curve showing the acceleration of adoption that a product goes through as it launches in an early market and picks up momentum in mainstream markets.
Every new company is defined in part by the organizations that step up as early adopters of products and services, and Boardable is no exception. In our first year our early adopter “visionaries” helped us see new uses of our platform we didn’t yet see, gave us ideas for future features, and inspired language for how we talk about what we do.
When we launched Boardable, we believed the number one pain point we were solving was managing the chaos of communications with volunteer groups. As we talked with our first customers, we found that what they valued wasn’t always on our radar:
All of this insight helped us broaden how we view the product as it is now, as well as what is most important to add to our product roadmap for the future.
Call Upon Your Own Early Adopters
Early adopters play a key role in areas far beyond technology. Imagine how developing your own group of early adopters can help your nonprofit build new services or experiences. Here are some ideas:
If learning new insights about your nonprofit aren’t enough to tip the balance to open your organization up to early adopters, think about this: if you ask for advice, you might just earn an advocate. Another point made in the book Crossing the Chasm is how early adopters often also function as your biggest advocates, and we’ve definitely found this to be true. By partnering so closely with our early adopters, we’re building relationships and a product they believe in too.
How might early adopters help your organization? Feel free to share experiences you’ve had with early adopters in our comments below.