Quite often, people get appreciation for adopting latest technology and hence they’re typically called ‘early adopters’. Technological world changes rapidly and in recent years pace has been higher than ever before. Typically the products outside FMCG, attract the attention for analysis. Automobile industry does not have a luxury of consumers changing their vehicles to embrace new technology. People buy when they feel the need, not because a new vehicle has come to the market that can increase fuel efficiency by, let us say, 3%. Slight improvement in gear shifting mechanism may not attract existing car owners to upgrade. Overall, it’s the disposable income of an individual that determines desire to buy a product. On the other hand, consumer electronics, specifically the devices that are portable, have higher product turnover. People buy new mobile phones every 18-24 months, and they buy new electronics items because of the trend, perceived utility of new use cases, brand loyalty, etc.
I have said this before, ‘a person’s financial success/failure is directly proportional to the ability/inability to prioritise short term as well as long term expenditure’. I see often people who complain about their poor financial fortunes. And more often than not, they may have spent on things that weren’t necessary or shouldn’t have been the priority to spend. I never bought a cassette player or a DVD player, and they’re dead now. I do not feel having missed a bandwagon. Eating out in a restaurant once/twice per week is not advisable if your disposable income does not support purchasing an apartment. Just because Samsung has launched a new version of Galaxy smartphone does not mean that you have to buy that right away. If a perceived utility is superfluous and does not really translate to real world lifestyle enhancement, then avoid buying such products. In 2007, iPhone was launched and 1000s of other smartphone brands have come since. But do you need a smartphone? That depends on your requirement to improve your lifestyle. Unless infrastructure is right and the lifestyle needs a realistic improvement buying gadgets is not worthy.
I have been in a job since mid 2007, but never had a camera as I don’t travel to tourist places that often. If you feel the need for camera, buy a high quality smartphone. We bought a DSLR this month and that based specific pro plan and not based on a (expensive) hobby. Just because a few of your Facebook friends/acquaintances post DSLR pictures should not be a reason to buy one for yourself. I never had a washing machine and nor a maid for household work. We did our household work by ourselves and that helped us to save money. Now that I have a baby to take care, washing machine became inevitable and hence we bought the best possible IFB front loading fully automatic machine. It consumes less water than typical hand wash of six KGs of clothes, and consumes less power than most low cost as well as competing machines. Before purchasing a washing machine, there were countless suggestions for not buy a fully automatic front load model. They said, fully automatic models consume more water, more power, more detergent, no option for manual intervention and so on. But after buying the machine, I realise an individual’s world is as big as he can imagine because my machine did not give any one of the problems listed so above. Most people who suggested, did not realise technology improves over time while they might not even have bought the best!
I have always advocated for experiencing a few best in class products over buying countless mediocre products. If you cannot restrain, quite often you end up mediocre product experience. Think about right priorities, do not spend based on windfall income (such as bonus in your salaried jobs), do some homework before buying any consumer durable product. Early adoption in itself does not mean anything. Waiting for the right product and the right time is not bad!