We've got more nerds than ever before.
Rogers famously described the ways products are adopted:
On the left, geeks and nerds and people who love stuff because the new is new and edgy and changes things. All the way to the right, the laggards, the ones who want to be the last to change. And in the middle, the masses, the ones who wait for the new idea to be proven, cheap and widely adopted. Most people are in the middle, and a few are on either edge. (Note that in every area of interest, different people put themselves into different segments. You might be a shoe geek but a movie laggard).
Marketers work to change the market. And for the last thirty years, marketers have been working to turn people into geeks, into people eager to try the new. And it's working.
There are more and more people lining up to buy the new gadget, more exploring the edges of the internet, more willing to engage in ways that were seen as too risky just a generation ago.
In addition to an ever increasing amount of media and advertising about what's new, the products and services themselves are designed to draw us in. It used to be that a car nerd would buy a new car every year while the laggard could wait a decade quite happily before upgrading. Today, because our software connects, the upgrade cycle is built in. Like it or not, the new version (or the new TOS or the new interaction style) is about to become part of your life.
The cultural implications here are significant. We now live in a society with more people more willing to change more often. And that means your customers are restless, and more likely to walk away if you don't treat them the way nerds want to be treated. Amaze, delight and challenge…