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The Joy of Being a Late Adopter

late adopter

This week I decided it was finally time to replace my 5-year-old iPhone that has a dying battery and insufficient storage space. I’ve only owned three laptops since 2007. I drive a six year old car that I plan to keep it as long as possible. And forget TikTok, I haven’t even ventured onto Snapchat yet! I am clearly not the type who has to have the newest thing, and I generally come to trends late in the game. Here are the reasons why I like being a late adopter:

1. Let others work out the kinks - When you’re a late adopter you wait for other people to try things first, identify the problems, and make improvements. By the time you get around to making an investment of time and money you get more value, because you have fewer issues to deal with.

2. Afford to pay for quality - When you wait to purchase something new, it allows you time to save up for a better quality. My computer is my single most important tool for my business, and it needs to be reliable. My design work requires a larger screen. By upgrading my computer infrequently I have years to save up for the next one, which means I can afford something larger and more powerful when I do get around to making the purchase.

3. Learn by finding creative work-arounds - Owning older things means you have to get creative to make them work for the long haul. You will likely researching and learn more about your devices so that you can adjust to less-than-perfect circumstances. My old phone has a tiny amount of storage which meant I had to investigate off-site storage options and regularly purge my apps. I've developed habits (out of necessity) that make me better prepared to keep my new phone clutter-free.

4. Appreciate things more - When you delay upgrading, the improvements are big enough to notice and this makes you appreciate them more. For example, if you trade in your phone every one or two years, each one is only incrementally better than the last iteration. But if you can wait four or five years before replacing it, you will be blown away by how great it is! There is certainly a downside to this, in that you spend a period of time with some reduced functionality of owning an older device. But I find that an acceptable trade-off for all the reasons I've mentioned here.

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