The research project of Luis Filipe Lages (Nova SBE), visiting Professor at The Lisbon MBA, together with Sara Jahanmir (Nova SBE/MIT) in the topic of laggards and late adopters, conducted over the past years in cooperation with The Lisbon MBA students is now featured in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The WSJ article emphasizing on the rise of late adopters, signed by WSJ reporter Charlie Wells, reflects on the growing importance of the late adopters for companies and society.

The featured work of Jahanmir and Lages on innovation and value creation, published in Journal of Engineering and Technology Management (2015) and Journal of Business Research (forthcoming) , has received significant attention in all three editions of WSJ (US, Europe, Asia) through articles and a video.

Late adopters are individuals who buy a product/service only after the majority. For many years theory and practice has merely emphasized on the role of early adopters in innovation and idea generation. Jahanmir and Lages defend that in order to create value and remain competitive, companies need to consider the role of all user categories in the idea generation and new product development (NPD) processes.

With the objective of better understanding late adopters and helping companies to obtain and analyse information from these consumers, authors study late adopters and laggards for several years in three countries and apply the Lag-User Method – a seven step NPD method – to different technologies, products, and services,

Studies result in over 60 breakthrough and incremental new ideas across a wide range of sectors such as technologies (e.g. laptops, smartphones), online services (e.g. social media, mobile apps), financial services (e.g. banks, credit cards, and insurances), HORECA, drink and food industry, consumer goods and NGOs.

Sara Jahanmir, Doctoral Researcher at Nova SBE and Research Affiliate at MIT, argues that through involving late adopters in idea generation and NPD processes, companies can get access to the valuable insight of these ignored consumers. Late adopters’ input can help companies increase value while cutting costs, and so remove barriers to adoption of innovations, cross the chasm and so accelerate the rate of innovation adoption.

Luis Filipe Lages, Professor at Nova SBE and Visiting Professor at The Lisbon MBA, believes that now we have empirical evidence that companies can innovate and create value by studying late adopters. This allows companies to explore new market spaces, identify the weaknesses of their products and those of competitors, and turn those weaknesses into strengths.

With this scientific advancement, it will be possible to better understand the late adopters, create new generations of products/service aligned with future market needs and so gain higher market shares.

The Lisbon MBA together with Jahanmir and Lages would like to acknowledge the support and participation of The Lisbon MBA students, without whom this achievement wouldn’t have been possible.

 Additional links:

Lag-User Method (Jahanmir & Lages, 2015) and Late Adopters (Jahanmir & Lages, forthcoming) featured on The Wall Street Journal and The Wall Street Journal TV

Papers featured in WSJ:


For comments and collaborations, please contact:

Sara F. Jahanmir | Research Affiliate 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation | 
E38-406 | 292 Main Street | Cambridge, MA USA 02142 |
t: +1-617-749-8310| e: |

​Luis Filipe Lages

Professor of Marketing, Innovation and International Business 
Nova School of Business and Economics, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 
Rua Marquês da Fronteira, 20, 1099-038 Lisboa, Portugal. E:
Tel: ++  351 21 3822745 / /
Research: My papers and Google Scholar