You know, it is really amazing what one can find on the Web. How did we ever survive without it?
I was looking for something and stumbled upon a study written by Nico Bouwkamp, Understanding Technological Transitions in History and Lessons Learned for a Hydrogen-Refueling Infrastructure.
The study looks at the dynamics of the transition from steam to the internal combustion engine and the transition from fixed line to wireless telephones, looking for clues which those pushing hydrogen as a fuel source.
There is a section of the report, Dynamics of the Innovation Process, which summarizes the factors that influence the rate of adoption. The author says in part,
The rate of adoption is set by the characteristics of an innovation, which are not only objective measures but also reflect the perceptions of potential adopters in the market.
Diffusion research shows that there are five main characteristics that dictate the rate of adoption and which all have to do with how potential adopters perceive the market.
Here are those five characteristics:
- Relative advantage is the degree to which an individual perceives the innovation as superior over the existing technology it replaces.
- Compatibility stands for the degree to which the innovation fits existing values, experiences and needs.
- Complexity is the level to which an innovation is perceived as difficult to understand and use.
- Trialability is the extent to which an innovation can be experimented with before it is adopted.
- Observability is the degree to which the adoption and advantages of an innovation are visible for others than the potential adopter.
Perhaps there are lessons those trying to help XBRL achieve critical mass might learn from how other technologies achieved that state.