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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Are you a firstblocker or a lastblocker?

A type of advertisement I think is very odd is the following:
Be the first on your block to have NAME OF PRODUCT!
It might be more honest to say
Be the first on your block to have NAME OF PRODUCT! Be our beta testers! A year from now you can have a better version at a cheaper price!
What are the PROS and CONS of being a a firstblocker (candidate for word-of-the-year) as opposed to being a lastblocker (another candidate)?
  1. Advantages of being a lastblocker: you get a cheaper better version of the product. Or in some cases you realize that you don't want the product (e.g., Betamax, which were actually called that.)
  2. Disadvantage of being a lastblocker: when do you finally buy the product? When I was a kid the first Polaroid Cameras came out. The innovation then was that they gave you the picture right away. It was in black and white, poor quality, and you had to shake it while it was developing. At the time I said I will wait until this is in Color. Once that happened I said I will wait until it is better quality. Once that happened I said I will wait until you don't have to shake it.. Once that happened I said I will wait until the price goes down. Once that happened I said I will wait until you can preview your shots before printing them out. Once that happened I said I will wait until you can do all of this on the computer. This has happened. Now I am waiting for the price to go down. Or the next innovation. Meanwhile, I have never owned a camera.
  3. Advantage of being a firstblocker: you get to tell your friends about it and advice them. Lance has done that with Kindle, KindleDX, and the ultimate wallet. This is what the advertisement had in mind.
  4. Advantage of being a firstblocker: There are times when the first model has some feature (or bug according to the manufacturer) that you want. One example: An older VCR can tape off on-demand, newer ones and DVD recorders have a problem with this.
  5. Some of this applies to seeing movies their first weekend--- you get to tell your friends about it, but you may see some really bad movies. I'm a lastlastblocker: I tape movies off TV, watch the the first 15 minutes, and then decide if I want to finish it. (Ebert's Rule for Comedies: If you don't laugh in the first 15 minutes, you're not going to laugh in the last hour and 45 minutes.) If not I might go to Wikipedia to see how it ends.
Are you a firstblocker or a lastblocker? Of course, it may depend on the product.

2 comments:

  1. I was one of the first to get a kindle (back when it was $399), but I don't regret it. I got months of use of out of it that I wouldn't have if I'd waiting until the price went down.

    Also, I am not, generally, an early adopter. For example, I only got a cell phone when I was doing job interviews.

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