Early Adopter


DEFINITION of 'Early Adopter'

An individual or business who uses a new product or technology before others. An early adopter is likely to pay more for the product than later adopters, but accepts this premium if using the product improves efficiency, reduces cost, increases market penetration or simply raises the early adopter's social status. Companies rely on early adopters to provide feedback about product deficiencies, and to cover the cost of the product's research and development.

BREAKING DOWN 'Early Adopter'

The rate of diffusion, or adoption, of a new product by the market at large can vary according to the type of product and its price. Early adopters in the business world face a high level of risk in that they are using a product or technology that may not be perfected, and which may not work with the products used by suppliers and customers or may not be compatible with other products they own.

  1. Obsolescence Risk

    The risk that a process, product or technology used or produced ...
  2. Late Majority

    The last sizable segment of a population to adopt an innovative ...
  3. Early Majority

    The first sizable segment of a population to adopt an innovative ...
  4. Bleeding Edge

    A product or service that is so new it has not been widely adopted ...
  5. Tech Street

    A term used in the financial markets and the press to refer to ...
  6. Silicon Valley

    A part of the San Francisco Bay Area that is known for the many ...
Related Articles
  1. Active Trading Fundamentals

    How The Power Of The Masses Drives The Market

    Market psychology is an undeniably powerful force. Find out what you can do about it.
  2. Entrepreneurship

    The 10 Greatest Entrepreneurs

    These 10 entrepreneurs' names will live on long into the future - perhaps even after their enterprises are gone.
  3. Economics

    5 Steps Of A Bubble

    Bubbles are deceptive and unpredictable, but by studying their history we can prepare to our best ability.
  4. Active Trading

    Sorting Out Cult Stocks

    Is that crazy product going to be the next big thing? Learn how to evaluate these companies here.
  5. Economics

    Explaining Like-for-Like Sales

    Companies use like-for-like sales figures to compare sales volume from one period to another.
  6. Stock Analysis

    Markets Are Tanking: Time to Buy Like Buffett

    Learn about three value stocks Warren Buffett holds in his portfolio. See how Buffett uses market declines to find good deals on stocks.
  7. Stock Analysis

    The 6 Best Dividend Stocks in the Consumer Staples Sector

    Learn about the top six companies that make an attractive investment for investors looking for stocks for dividend income investing.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Top 3 Consumer Cyclical Mutual Funds

    Obtain information on, and analysis of, some of the best performing mutual funds that offer exposure to the consumer cyclicals sector.
  9. Stock Analysis

    The Biggest Risks of Investing in Amazon Stock

    Find out which risks are most important to Amazon's shareholders. Learn which operational risks impact share prices and which financial risks affect investors.
  10. Stock Analysis

    How Does Jet.com Work and Make Money?

    Learn how Jet.com is taking on retail giants Amazon, Walmart and Costco by promising to save customers an average of 10 to 15% on over 10 million items.
  1. How can I invest in electronic retailing (e-tailing)?

    Electronic retail is one of the fastest growing segments of the economy. Every year, more people are choosing to purchase ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between JIT (just in time) and CMI (customer managed inventory)?

    Just-in-time (JIT) inventory management focuses solely on the need to replenish inventory only when it is required, reducing ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are some common ways product differentiation is achieved?

    There are many ways to achieve product differentiation, some more common than others. Horizontal Differentiation Horizontal ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What economic indicators are important to consider when investing in the retail sector?

    The unemployment rate and Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) rank as two of the most important economic indicators to consider ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What factors make it difficult to compare performance ratios between retail stocks?

    Companies that operate in the retail sector significantly differ in terms of their profitability and efficiency, making stock ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Which socially responsible retailers appeal most to ethical investors?

    Ethical investors have many reasons to consider companies in the retail sector. The sector is broad and features an abundance ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Purchasing Power

    The value of a currency expressed in terms of the amount of goods or services that one unit of money can buy. Purchasing ...
  2. Real Estate Investment Trust - REIT

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through property or mortgages and often trades on major exchanges ...
  3. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  4. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  5. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  6. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!