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3 Tips for Not Getting Burned as an Early Adopter

November 23, 2011 by Beth Boyett |

I recently spent at weekend in Florida visiting my son. He's the regional internal sales manager for a large corporation and, not surprizingly, his home reflects his personal and professional focus on technology. I think I made some comment about his home looking like a call desk with multiple computers resized 600center or help desk operation for a computer company.  Two desks sported one laptop and two monitors each. A laptop and iPad sat on the coffee table, alongside an iPhone 4 (when he wasn't using it), and a huge Apple TV sat side-by-side with a second huge TV near the fireplace.

To say that my son is an early adopter is an understatement. Whatever the latest technology, he has to have it -- and I do mean has to because his job rides on staying abreast of the most sophisticated tools, mostly for Web 2.0 and data management. But in addition to a certain WOW factor that comes with having latest and greatest computer/TV/phone/tablet (and the pleasure of using it), he has to deal with the perils of early adoption.

Case in point, during our visit I used one of the many laptops to check my email. I came across an interesting tidbit from my IT manager at work letting me know about an iPad2/smart cover security bug. Since my son has both, I thought he might find it useful information. "Oh no," he said. "we're getting ready to ditch all of our desktops and replace them with iPad2's, and they'll probably have smart covers!"  Good timing for this particular news.

Many of us, as individuals, are also early adopters. We may not be outfitting our own businesses, but we may be outfitting our den or home office. And in order to have the newest gadgets and tools, we often pay the highest prices and receive the most headaches.  But Yardena Arar, the senior editor of PC World, says that "buying a hot new product shouldn't feel like paying to be the beta tester."  Her recommendations include:

  1. check vendor websites for upgrades           laptop on fire
  2. check product maker's site for new versions of the manual and new solutions
  3. check third party forums for user feedback and solutions from the field
So, don't get burned by new technology. You can still enjoy the latest innovation and convenience. Doing a little research before your purchase, then staying abreast of online tips and changes will keep you cool and connected.

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