Many of you are familiar with the “technology adoption life cycle” model, long a pillar of everything from new tech product pitches to IPO roadshows. However, overuse has eroded the model’s impact. Today, it’s less an effective visualization of market traction, and more a symbol of how distorted our tech industry’s blitzing and bandwagon-hopping is when it comes to emerging technologies.

In its simplest form, the adoption bell curve illustrates how a new product will be progressively accepted over time across innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. But today’s conversations about technologies often focus only on the stories of the most eager, cutting-edge innovators—ignoring 95 percent of the rest of the story; that is, the years (if not decades) that technology takes to reach mainstream adoption.

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