The Other Side of Being An Early Adopter

Product Management

The Other Side of Being An Early Adopter

I am a super early adopter. Any given day, I’d rather use/share feedback to a startup product than the one coming from established companies.


But then, not all is well being an early adopter especially if it involves family. Read on.

I went out for dinner with the family and the moment I entered this restaurant, a person walked up and introduced this latest app (let’s call him app evangelist). He mentioned that ordering from the app is cool (of course, we have profiled this app on NextBigWhat). I was super excited to see a startup coming out of the *office echo-chamber* and doing real life implementation.

And yeah, they had an app for Windows devices as well (I use Lumia 920), which is fairly uncommon. I installed the app, registered and started ordering. The app was extremely slow and ordering 4-5 dishes took almost 25 minutes time. By this time, my family was losing the patience and they wanted to skip my appy behavior and wanted to order directly from the waiter.

Somehow I managed to finish the order and the moment I was about to click on ‘Order’ button, the app evangelist told me ‘Did I tell you that if you order for more than Rs. 1,500, your dessert will be free’. My order was for Rs. 1,480 and the impatient look on my family just made me skip that offer.

The order, surprisingly took more than an hour to deliver. We were surprised that those who ordered after us got the delivery much before us. I convinced myself that ‘maybe, we ordered complex dishes’.

Well, after an hour – all we get to see is a set of dish which we didn’t even order!. By now, we were totally frustrated.

We ate what’er was served and left the place. After a while, I thought I might check the bill (normally I don’t) and realized that we were charged for extra items which we didn’t even order.

I called up the manager, he apologized and said ‘Sir, All this happened because you were using the app. Please don’t use the app from next time onwards’.

As per the manager, order from the app was breaking the restaurant workflow (it’s easy for the waiter to tell the dish name/details/numbers to chefs). I also noticed that the restaurant waiters were a bit hostile towards this app evangelist as the ordering time was almost being quadrupled (plus if the app is super successful, restaurant might let go of the waiters).

Note to the app startup: Understand the food chain. Maybe, you don’t need not disrupt the workflow, but focus on bringing in efficiency. Maybe, in-restaurant ordering via tabs will pick up, but ensure that the backend is as robust as the frontend.

As far as I am concerned, can I dare to be an early adopter when with family? Well, I don’t know!

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