Why do we adopt new technologies?
Many people will be quick to respond, “Because they help us do things faster, easier, or better.”
Well, then, why don’t people adopt new technology?
Most people would probably say that people don’t adopt new technology either because the technology is too expensive or because people don’t need the features the technology offers.
But there’s another reason we don’t adopt new technology or make some other change in our lives, even though we’d like to: something is holding us back. There’s an obstacle that’s preventing us from making the change.
I call this obstacle switching costs. Switching costs are an important, yet often overlooked, obstacle to change. In my book, Winning the Hardware-Software Game, I define switching costs as it relates to adoption of new technology as follows.