Most of the time, we don’t go first. There are good reasons for this (the iWatch comes to mind). With the exception of sushi and fresh powder, there’s little cultural or economic advantage to always trying the new thing first.
Change happens because some people, some of the time, have neophilia. We are dissatisfied enough or passionate enough that we seek out the new thing, mostly because it's new. This is the chowhound who seeks out the latest restaurant, or the idealist who supports the newest policy proposal.
But a surprisingly small percentage of the population has neophilia. So movie studios work to share almost the entire movie in the TV ads before opening weekend, because they know most people don't actually want to be surprised and take a risk, even at the movies. And so Kickstarter makes it easy to jump in at just the right moment, after an idea is sure to work, not when it's merely an idea. (This is now working for some charities as well).
Project creators have to wrestle with this chasm. First, there's the thrill of the launch, and then the gratifying response from the early adopters. (Note that they are not called adapters, for a good reason). But then, then there's a trough, the period between the excitement of the new and the satisfaction of the proven.
It can take days or years to get to proven. To get to the moment when you can honestly say, "it's ready for you now." Nothing new is for everyone. By definition, the new is for a few, those that see a benefit in going first.
This week, applications are open for altMBA5. There's only a week left before our first deadline. Over the last year, hundreds of people like you have enrolled in this four-week intensive workshop, and have come away changed, working at a higher level, seeing things differently, contributing in ways that truly matter.
Please take just a moment to read these testimonials from our students.
We're ready for you now.
We used to be new, now we're proven. That's something that every project that crosses the chasm has to be able to demonstrate.
The altMBA is the most effective transformation tool I've ever created. More than books or blog posts, this extraordinary group sprint is the agent of change I've been seeking, and I think, so have you.
I hope to see you there. We're ready. Are you?