Are early adopters all suckers?

Tech companies would love us all to be early adopters. Ideally they want us whipping out out wallets or purses and flexing our credit cards as soon as there's a new OS, cellphone, graphics card, CPU, or other bit of software or hardware. But are early adopters suckers who ultimately pay over the odds for buggy products while those who follow up pick up a far more superior product for less money?

Tech companies would love us all to be early adopters. Ideally they want us whipping out out wallets or purses and flexing our credit cards as soon as there's a new OS, cellphone, graphics card, CPU, or other bit of software or hardware. But are early adopters suckers who ultimately pay over the odds for buggy products while those who follow up pick up a far more superior product for less money?

Take a product such as the iPhone. When it was launched you had endless queues of suckers willing to fork over hundreds of dollars for a device. Pretty soon there's a price drop, and then an updated iPhone. And the cycle continues.

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What about those folks who jumped on the Windows Vista bandwagon when it came out and ended up with an OS that was worse than the one they were upgrading from. That mess left a lot of people annoyed and disillusioned. Folks who waited for SP1 to be released ended up with a far more superior product.

Xbox, PlayStation, Wii ... rinse an repeat.

I'm pretty conservative when it comes to spending my money. I love playing with new technology, but I'm left in little doubt that it's better to wait for a few months for the bugs to be shaken out. Hopefully, not only do you end up with a better product, you've also paid less for it. Sure, it's cool to be one of the first to own something, but whenever I've been an early adopter, I've come away from the experience feeling like a sucker.

But those of us who don't want the dubious privilege of being early adopters should be thankful to those who are willing to sacrifice their time and money - after all, they are the people that allow the rest of us to pick up the cheaper, better, more robust version of the initial product!

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