Progressive and Conservative Tech Adoption

In adopting tech, some are more conservative, some are more progressive, and we can help each other.

People and New Tech

The world of technology grows every day. There are new things to explore and try out.

For some, that endless feed of new contains promises of new potential. They see new capabilities within reach. They feel that they are witnessing true innovation.

For these people, the possibility that things might get better with their new tech adoption drives them to willingly embrace something new – even eagerly so. They sense the adventure of peering over the horizon to where technologists haven’t yet trod.

For others, the endless feed of new technology represents pure noise. They see churn and rehashing of old ideas. They see new for new’s sake.

For these people, they have been happily productive in their current technology for years. They avoid the developing distractions. They aren’t blind to potential innovation, but they won’t see it as innovation until it has been proven. Others, often many others, must first use the tech. If the masses come out unscathed and offering good reviews, they know it’s worth their time.

These are two ends of a spectrum of perspectives for people who see this world of ever-changing tech very differently.

People With Different Views

Our tech companies are growing. They’re getting larger, and they’re full of increasingly diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Is it a wonder then, that they will be full of boths kinds of technology adopters?

Our companies and projects will likely contain both progressive and conservative tech adopters.

The good part about having both types on our teams is that we’re trying to break out of our echo chamber. We listen to people who are not just like us. We expand personal views into new possibilities.

The challenging part about having both types on our teams is that we will hear dissonant voices. Everyone won’t see technology adoption choices in the same way. These will be issues that we have to work through if we’re to get along and collectively create something we’re proud of and enjoy doing day to day.

People Who Help and Are Helped

If you read the descriptions above of how people might respond differently to new tech, you can imagine how they might objectively help one another.

They temper each other. They provide balance.

To someone who always sees tech as promising, more conservative adopters can warn of pitfalls, ask for second opinions, remind of the cost, help think through, and find problems to patch.

To someone who always sees the status quo as enough, more progressive adopters can help imagine possibility, cultivate a sense of adventure, encourage experimentation, and show decisive forward action.

This won’t be a totally comfortable endeavor for a team that has both types working together. But we needn’t just provide tinder for flame wars. We needn’t talk behind each others’ backs in stereotypes or derisive language. We can bite our tongue and realize that our view isn’t homogeneous in the room. Therefore we’ll state our view of the world in a way that helps us find a way forward together instead of dividing us and shutting down the conversation.

We are each somewhere on this spectrum of willingness to adopt tech (and many other issues). . Let’s see ourselves as helpers and people who need helped.

What can you do to help your companies and teams navigate these different perspectiives? And how does your own personal perspective play into that?