The Novelty Curve

Think back to when television was first invented. I bet no one back then thought that having to get up from your seat to adjust the volume or switch channel was an inconvenience. This is what I like to call the ‘technology honeymoon phase.’ Any and all aspects of the new technology is simply accepted as is with no questions asked. The initial awe and amazement leaves no room in our heads for complaints.

Then the novelty curve kicks in. When newness wanes we start to question why certain things are certain way. We start to form our own opinions about how certain things should be done. Suddenly, having to get up from your seat to change TV channel becomes an annoyance. So came the remote control. TV set plus a remote control – no matter how perfect a combination it once was, the novelty curve is constant. We now want on-demand programs, we want the internet in the television, etc. The cycle goes on.

Anyone in the business of catering to peoples’ wants and needs should be keenly aware of the novelty curve in order to stay current. The changes are more volatile in the consumer technology sector. The internet, the connectivity, streaming video, or the instant gratification in general is no longer a novelty. Satisfaction and happiness exists only in short cycles in the consumer society. The success of any product or service will last only as long as the technology honeymoon period. Like it or not, that period is getting shorter and shorter.

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