We know that a lot of people have a bias towards to keeping the status quo.
Or if they do see a new innovation which is fundamentally different that what they know, they might see how other people react to using it first before they feel comfortable using it themselves.
Yet at the same time, there are some innovations where we as humans have a bias towards liking things more just because they are new.
This is known as the novelty bias.
In some instances, some people have a more positive opinion of things just because they are new, even if they are not necessarily better than what previously existed.
For example, in medicine several meta-analyses have shown that many people will prefer a drug if they are told it is newer than what previously was available, even if it not necessarily proven to be more effective.
Or in the technology or automotive space, people will think that this year’s new phone, microchip or car model must be better than last year’s, just because it is newer.
And this issue is especially prevalent in founders, who are often convinced that their new solution is better than what previously existed, even if customers do not actually see any benefit.
Similarily, new technology often still has issues which need to be ironed out and improved incrementally over time. As a result, the first version of something completely new might actually be worse than the mature version of the previous technology, in capability, reliability and especially price.
Now, there are a multitude of reasons why people might believe this bias:
- Theoretically, something new must have had more recent research to create it, which should build on and therefore surpass all previous research
- A newer model should only be released in a market if the previous version needs replacing
- Buying and owning the new technology might make you feel good, and especially raise your status by showing you are able to appreciate, afford and access the new technology
There is also a neurological aspect, where anything “new” could historically have been a threat or danger. As a result, our brains evolved to become instantly aware of anything new or different. Often this manifested itself in fear.
But when all of our base needs are met and we feel safe, that same heightened attention to anything new can mean we are easily distracted by the next shiny new object.
So just be aware that not everything new is always better.
But it might trigger your creativity, or make your innovation more appealing if you can convince someone why it is both new and better.
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