How Do Start-Ups Succeed?
In 1962, Everett Rogers published Diffusion of Innovations – now in its fifth edition. Rogers realized that weak ties are crucial for innovations to spread across a population. In slightly jargon-heavy language, he described the dilemma this way:
… Heterophilous communication has a special informational potential, even though it may occur only rarely. Heterophilous network links often connect two cliques, thus spanning two sets of socially dissimilar individuals in a system.… Homophilous communication may be frequent and easy, but may not be as crucial as less frequent heterophilous communication in diffusing innovations. Homophily accelerates the diffusion process, but limits the spread of an innovation to those individuals connected in a close-knit network.Ultimately, the diffusion process can occur only through communication links that are at least somewhat heterophilous.
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Diffusion of Innovations: Description
In this renowned book “Diffusion of Innovations“, Everett M. Rogers, professor and chair of the Department of Communication & Journalism at the University of New Mexico, explains how new ideas spread via communication channels over time. Such innovations are initially perceived as uncertain and even risky. To overcome this uncertainty, most people seek out others like themselves who have already adopted the new idea. Thus the diffusion process consists of a few individuals who first adopt an innovation, then spread the word among their circle of acquaintances – a process which typically takes months or years. But there are exceptions: use of the Internet in the 1990s, for example, may have spread more rapidly than any other innovation in the history of humankind. Furthermore, the Internet is changing the very nature of diffusion by decreasing the importance of physical distance between people. The fifth edition addresses the spread of the Internet, and how it has transformed the way human beings communicate and adopt new ideas.
Diffusion of Innovations: Review
Choice The name of Everett Rogers…is virtually synonymous with the study of the Diffusion of Innovations….His coverage is comprehensive, ranging from the elements of diffusion and the history of diffusion research to generators of innovation, change agents, and the consequences of innovations. Among the many features that make this an exemplary interdisciplinary effort are Rogers’s clear, literate style and his ability to stay in touch with social realities. He sets a high standard for social theorists.
Technology and Culture A classic work….Full of interesting insights, solid examples, and good common sense.
Journal of Communication Incorporates important advances…presented in the usual clear, didactic, and often light-spirited style of the author, who also offers choice examples of his wide cross-cultural experiences. The result is a highly readable and discussion-provoking text.
Engineering Management Society Holds several important lessons for anyone planning the introduction of new ideas in a firm….Introduces the latest and probably some of the best thinking in that area.