Phil for Humanity Phil for Humanity
A Guide for the Survival of Humankind and Helping the World, Society, and Yourself.

Cutting Edge versus Bleeding Edge Technology

Never buy the first model. Don’t ever be first to upgrade.

The first hybrid cars are not as economical as they appear. The first version of the iPhone does not have a lot of the features that existing cell phones already have. A lot of people who’ve upgraded to Windows Vista wish they hadn’t.

Are you noticing a trend?

While it may be popular to buy the latest cool products, the truth is that it seldom pays to be a guinea pig for a large corporation by purchasing their latest unproven products. Sure, it is always nice to have the latest and greatest of anything, but there is a fine line between cutting edge technology and bleeding edge technology. Cutting edge technology implies a new product that is revolutionary when compared to previous products. Bleeding edge technology implies the pain and suffering using a new product that is not completely ready yet for the public to use.

Typically, the first users for a new bleeding edge product are actually beta-testers willing to work for free. When these users first start using their new gadgets, they quickly report any issues that they find. Sometimes these issues are major problems that should have not made it out of development; thus other users, who have not upgraded yet, will learn of these issues and avoid the latest versions of a product.

This is why I am advocating for people to only purchase the second version of any new product or major version upgrade, and only after they’ve heard mostly good reviews of the product. Typically, companies are able to resolve most of their major issues within the first year.

So unless you have to upgrade for a required new feature, it pays to be patient with new technologies. The stress and aggravation of being a trend setter is seldom worth it.

by Phil for Humanity
on 04/02/2008

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