The attractively simple thesis of The Change Function is that most technology ventures fail because technologists manage them. Technologists think their business is the creation of cool technologies loaded with wonderful new features. They think this because they are engineers who thrill to the idea of change. By contrast, Coburn says, “technology is widely hated by its users,” because ordinary folk loathe change. Therefore, any new artifact, no matter how much its various features might appeal to technologists, will always be rejected by its intended customers unless “the pain in moving to a new technology is lower than the pain of staying in the status quo.”
Or in Pip’s geeky formulation:
The Change Function = f (perceived crisis vs. total perceived pain of adoption).
[Former UBS analyst Pip Coburn, quoted in Technology Review.]