There is a long-standing question in the technology industry of how long it really takes for a new technology to be adopted on a mass scale. In Geoffrey Moore’s “Crossing the Chasm”, his technology adoption life cycle highlighted the problem of getting beyond the early adopters to the mass market. So how did we establish 15 years as an adoption cycle?
In November 2013, both the BBC and the Telegraph, broke the news that “London commuters will be able to pick up their grocery shopping at London Underground stations”. Our rationale for 15 years comes from the fact that in 1999, we proposed this specific technology and its application for time-constrained commuters that used major transport networks each day. The technology solution (pictured at left) was initially developed as a postal service self-service package pickup system.
In 1999, we proposed to this technology solution to both the UK’s Network Rail and SNCF, the French rail company. Both companies have hundreds, if not thousands, of commuter stations. The solution could be used for the benefit of both the consumer and the companies deploying the solution. Busy commuters, already hassled and packed into over-crowded trains, had little time or room to carry home packages of goods they had purchased during the day. With the increase of online shopping, a self-service package pickup system at the consumer’s home rail station was proposed as an ideal way to solve the problem. The commuter was provided with a convenient locker at their home rail station for pickup of pre-ordered goods.
In fact, Amazon has been deploying this type of delivery technology in various countries over the past few years. Now the Transport for London has ‘crossed the chasm’ and adopted the click-and-connect solution.
It now appears to have become a reality for rail commuters. It’s taken from 1999 – proposition to wide implementation. Hence we have the 15 year technology adoption cycle.