How many times have you sat in a meeting, while someone tells you all about how 'innovators', 'early adopters' or the 'early majority' are the key to the successful targeting of the brief. You may even have been blessed with the sight of a bell shaped curve, and explained that they tend to fall into certain proportions, like this:
Well, get this - the whole concept of the adoption curve is based on the diffusion of the uptake of hybrid seed corn in 1940s Iowan farms. Now that is hilarious! It stands to reason that some people take up new innovations before others, but the shape of the curve (while S-shaped) does vary depending on the particular market - and the proportions are determined by several factors: (1) relative advantage (2) compatibility (3) complexity (4) triability (5) observability. (from wikipedia). Consider the different uptake of colour television (20 years) compared to the uptake of the DVD player (about 3 years) as an example.