Being an Early Adopter…OK, Maybe Not the Best Way to Meet Women.

I got a peek at some info from Ipsos I-Say regarding early
adopters
. As usual, according to this article, the whole “gotta have the gadget” world is still
predominantly male. Beyond the psychology of the report here are some basic facts from Ipsos…

Wait…before we talk about the stats, as a card carrying male,
I need to point out a few things that impact this research. First, admit it
gents, as guys when someone asks about stuff like this we usually always say we
know what the heck we’re talking about. Remember, we’re the ones who don’t ask
for directions. (Of course now we don’t have to with GPS gizmos. See how this
whole thing comes full circle.) Second, God forbid, we should even remotely
come off as not being hip. iPhone? Hell yeah, I’ve got one! (OK not really but
does the researcher need to know that.) Early adoption is clearly a great way to reinforce our male ego. On with the stats…

According to the Ipsos study, over 44% of males consider
themselves to be technology-savvy and 51% think they have better technical
skills than the average person, whereas women aren’t as confident about their
technological abilities. Actually 34% admit that complicated electronics make
them feel apprehensive.

Almost 49% of males are excited about cutting-edge
electronics compared to only 35% of females. Men also like to have the newest
gadgets and high tech products (33% vs. 22%). More males than females believe
they embrace new technology more quickly than the rest of society (38% vs. 23%).

Now that we’ve seen the numbers, some observations;

Look
closely, many of these numbers aren’t that far apart…especially the not so
heralded 12% to 15% male to female comparison when it comes to having “difficulty
adapting to new technology.” I also think the big 51% vs. 30% male to female response
to “I think I have better technical skills than the average person.” could be
more about modesty than ability. Hey crafting research questions ain’t easy.

Overall, there is not much that is surprising here. Take it
from a guy who has been to many new media and tech events. Clearly, there needs
to be more of a female presence.  By the
way, I have a real problem with Ipsos labeling those that aren’t early adopters
as “laggards.” C’mon guys…they’re not lagging behind…they’re keeping a real world
pace.

I’d submit that, for those that use technology in that real
world, women have got it right. Let somebody else fiddle around with this stuff for
awhile. Face it, there are a lot of things coming out of the tech space that really will
probably not make a major impact on you and me. Once the guys spend too much
time with the latest combination TV remote-nose hair trimmer-social network app
and work out the kinks it will probably be a woman who puts the social network
to good use. (Not that a TV remote-nose hair trimmer isn’t a really great tool…I’d
buy one.)

While talking about development, for reasons like real-world application, I’d like to encourage women to become more involved earlier on. Ladies you would be in great
company. The women who are involved in the new media/tech space, more often
than not, are standouts for reasons well beyond their sex. At a Minnedemo earlier
this year Maryse Thomas from Pokeware put on arguably the best presentation of
a standout application from her company. Whether you want to be the first to own
the latest thing or not, the industry will only benefit from a bit more estrogen
in the development stage. (At the very least you could convince developers and
marketers that making a product more appealing to women does not mean painting
it pink, but that’s another post.) I, for one, think our male ego can stand it.

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