Just As I Thought

Lamentations of an early adopter

I’ve been a member of the cult of early adopters for as long as I can remember — always wanting to be first in line for a new gadget or technology. I was using a Mac in 1984, a VCR in 1979, laserdisc in 1981, and CD in 1983. In 2000, after waiting for some time on a list, I took delivery of the first U.S. model year Toyota Prius. Judging from the VIN and the manufacture information, it seems that mine was one of the very earliest ones to roll off the line. I was elated to have the car, because it had a strange, experimental thrill attached to it; and I was one of the very few owners of a Prius.
These days, I am seeing them quite a lot, and it’s losing appeal now because they are becoming commonplace. I had hoped to recapture some of that early adopter mojo by placing an order for the 2004 re-do of the car. I had no idea how many other people would do the same. It seems like the Prius is suddenly the hottest car phenomenon out there — move over, Mini! Not only is Toyota having trouble keeping up with the demand, but it seems that from the get-go, my car won’t be unique. They’ll be everywhere, and I won’t feel that special early adopter thrill. When my car arrives next week — assuming that it will, I’ve been burned before — I may feel the thrill of the new car smell, the glee of GPS navigation, and the smugness of PZEV emissions, but what I won’t have is the satisfaction of being the first on my block.
Yes, sitting just outside my house is a brand new Prius that SOMEONE ELSE just got before me.
Can you hear my crest falling?

1 comment

  • Well, but there are still going to be far fewer of these than just about any other car on the road.

    I know how you feel, though, as an early adopter myself.

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