The future for Fuji cameras

Started Dec 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
(unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 578
Re: This might provide a perspective

Chris Dodkin wrote:

The generation and adoption of new technologies is not a new phenomenon, it's been going on for hundreds if not thousands of years.

There has been a great deal of study in this area, and models have been generated that help companies plan their product launches, and understand where they stand as new technologies make their way to market.

There are no guarantees, but there are well developed models which have been well proven over time.

There are two that we can review here, based on the OP:

The Hype Cycle model (used by Gartner since 1995)

The Technology Adoption Lifecycle model championed by Everett Rogers and Geoffrey Moore

The accepted model is that a new technology goes through the following three phases:

  1. Hype: Search for next big thing leads to Hype around any new technology.
  2. Struggle: Adoption of these Bleeding Edge technologies depended on the Visionaries who had the vision, energy and money to make it work.
  3. Success: Mainstream adoption required convincing the Pragmatists who needed success stories and support system around the technology.

You can simplify the two models, and see their relationships by plotting Expectation and Adoption Rate against time, on a pair of graphs.

The top graph maps the expectations over time - you may not recognize the exact terms used, but if you think about new technologies that you've seen come to market, you'll see how the cycle of expectation maps to this diagram.

The OP based on the NYT article would put us right after the peak of inflated expectation, and in the trough of disillusionment.

The lower graph shows the adoption of new technologies over time - initially you have innovators picking up the new products, sales are low because most people are not comfortable investing in bleeding edge tech, and want to see success stories in order to feel comfortable to make the investment in a new tech or system.

As sales grow you have to cross the chasm from the early adopters, to the Majority - where normal folk start to see the product as a viable option, and feel safe buying it. This is where volume of sales rises steeply, and the profitability/productivity comes.

Based on the sales numbers, we'd say that Fuji are currently trying to cross the chasm - you see them injecting the market with body+lens deals to get the adoption rate up, building momentum to try and cross the chasm and get to that mainstream (majority) adoption phase.

I think Fuji have made a big mistake here (at least in the UK) by offering promotion after promotion, intermittent cash back deals work well or at least they have done for Canon/Nikon but a sustained cash back/free lens/massive price reduction only serves to flood the used market and devalue the system, this then causes people to lose faith in the system as a whole.

Fuji started out strong and had a good year or so with interest and focus from the camera buyer/user community but they followed this up with delays, over priced lenses and primes in a cluster, the upcoming 56 1.2 might be superb but it will be too little to late just as the 23 1.4 was and you can bet that both of these lenses will be available for less than half of their original price with in a year.

Once you start giving something of value away for free (free lens deals) you pretty much put an end to the system as a whole, while other companies might do a similar thing it's often things like camera grips which most users would never buy anyway that are included in deals.

Companies are well aware of these models, so you could expect that Fuji have planed for this ahead of time, and have a strategy in place to reach profitable sales to the plateau of productivity.

This is the piece that is not in the public domain - we don't know the details of their strategy.

However - for us 'Early Adopters' - we at least have a perspective of why we see what we see regarding sales numbers, visible numbers of cameras in the field, special sales promotions from the manufacturer, statements about profit and loss etc etc.

Because without the bigger picture, you might be confused as to what's going on and why.

At the end of the day - new technology adoption rarely happens overnight - all of this takes a lot of time and money, and there's still no guarantee of success.

Some people are ok with that - they like being here at the bleeding/leading edge.

Some people are uncomfortable with that - you see them post here and express their discomfort with the technology, or the products progression, or the companies performance.

It's an interesting journey - should be fun to see how it all shakes out.

More detail on the Hype Cycle idea here:

More Detail on the Technology Adoption Cycle here:

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