Even as fanatic customers can be counted on to line up outside the Apple store for the latest iPhone, there are still millions of Americans who don’t use a smartphone at all. For that matter, there are still plenty of happy owners of tube televisions, rotary dial telephones, film cameras, fax machines, typewriters and cassette tape players.
The accelerating pace of disruption means more and more products are facing an early retirement. But even as computers, electronics and health products move quickly from must-haves to museum artifacts, a small but loyal following often carries a torch for the old stuff, sometimes out of nostalgia, sometimes from sheer stubbornness. For them, familiar and functioning technologies are good enough.
My “Big Bang Disruption” co-author Paul Nunes and I refer to these have-won’ts as “legacy customers,” users who simply refuse to migrate to disruptive innovations even after they’ve become both better and cheaper, and even after almost everyone else has made the shift.