The Law of Diffusion of Innovation

Follow-up article from “Four reasons why you always start with why, from Simon Sinek

Leaders become leaders because they have followers. Great leaders not just have followers, they have hardcore fans who believe in what they believe. These type of fans will sacrifice anything (e.g., blood, tears, sweat, money, time) to make sure the idea they believed in last. And, they will always try to influence people around them to believe in their beliefs.

Indeed, not all of the population will be fans. But, this small portion of the population is crucial if businesses want to last. This concept is in accordance to the Law of Diffusion of Innovations (Everett, Rogers., 1962).

This curve is important for leaders who want to gain mass-market acceptance. Because it will be impossible to reach the masses (the early majority and the late majority) without first reaching the innovators and early adopters.

Innovators and early adopters are the one that can influence the right side of the curve. People on the right side of the curves are those who do not easily recognize the value of new ideas. These people, expect others (i.e., early adopters) to try the idea first.

Concept Highlight:

The Chasm (Tipping Point), is a crucial point where the business might thrive or fall to ashes. When the tipping point is reached, it can be predicted that there will be a massive change in a behavior of a group or individual. By being consistent and patient at the beginning of the business to reach the Tipping Point, the businessess will grow with ease afterward.

Therefore, when selling products, companies must not directly target the majority with their new innovation. They have to first, gathering people who share the same beliefs as they do. Because these people are the one that will be the foundation of the businesses’ innovation to grow. Directly targeting the majority with the innovative product might jeopardize the businesses with a price-war like innovation game.

How to grow the business after the Tipping Point? Read How Brands Grow by Byron Sharp.


Rogers, E. M. (2010). Diffusion of innovations. Simon and Schuster.

Sinek, S. (2009). Start with why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action. New York: Portfolio.


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