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Diffusion of Innovations – Rogers

The diffusion of innovations according to Roge...

The diffusion of innovations according to Rogers (1962). With successive groups of consumers adopting the new technology (shown in blue), its market share (yellow) will eventually reach the saturation level. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1) Relative advantage
2) Compatibility
3) Complexity
4) Trialability
5) Observability

DOKI & iTV (WAYL) were chased intuitively – if a client would back it, then it was ok. This chase continued with projects developed to support equally speculative broadcast / internet linked projects. From a business perspective this was encouraging clients to chase chimera.

We should have know better and offered value in money made or saving made … networking for the NHS was developed within their far more cautious framework. The advantages had to be apparent and the transition compatible. Though apparently complex the technology & the players were in place to take the next step. It could be trialled at a limited number of outlets and observations shared with the team.

The relationship with Ragdoll was different again; all they wanted was a website. We tried to steer them towards something that would be a credible tool for selling product (their programmes & merchandise). We all got tantalised by the creative opportunities.

With FTKnowlege it was another leap in the dark, feeling their brand name could be instantly attached to a distance learning MBA programme and feeling their was a need to get in their first. The view being that not to do otherwise would see other Amazons and the like taking a huge market share.


Kaye, R. and Hawkridge, D. (eds) (2003) Learning and Teaching for Business: Case Studies of Successful Innovation, London and Sterling, Kogan Page.

Try hard enough and you can make any model fit reality, but reality rules, not the model.

Diffusion of innovations

Diffusion of innovations (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


A new model can be shown to fit just as well.


Situations are forever changing and we have to remember that with Rogers he was talking about marketing … the sale of new products, not the introduction of e.learning where there is less likelihood of a marketing /advertising campaign having an undue impact on a decision taken to purchase.


The Chasm Theory set out by Moore is a cautionary note, one which will be picked up on by the nervous, ‘conservative’ or traditional types. We should remember that committees & boards often make these decisions and that how they act as a team, hopefully with a collective of types on board, will be quite different to the person making a purchase alone.




Rogers, E.M. (2003) Diffusion of Innovations (5th edn), New York, Simon and Schuster.


Moore, G.A. (1991) Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-tech Products to Mainstream Customers, New York, HarperBusiness.



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