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Crossing the Chasm

Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers

By Geoffrey A. Moore
15-minute read
Audio available
Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers by Geoffrey A. Moore

Crossing the Chasm (1991) examines the market dynamics faced by innovative new products, particularly the daunting chasm that lies between early to mainstream markets.

The book provides tangible advice on how to make this difficult transition and offers real-world examples of companies that have struggled in the chasm.

  • Anyone working within the high tech industry
  • Anyone trying to enter a market with an innovative product
  • Anyone interested in how high tech products are adopted

Geoffrey A. Moore is an author, consultant and venture partner. His other bestsellers include Inside the TornadoThe Gorilla Game and Living on the Fault Line.

Crossing the Chasm is derived from the author’s work as a high technology consultant in Silicon Valley. Originally, both the author and publisher assumed the book would be of interest to a mere niche group of people and would probably only sell some 5,000 copies. In fact it became a runway hit with over 300,000 copies sold. 

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Crossing the Chasm

Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers

By Geoffrey A. Moore
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 10 key ideas
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Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers by Geoffrey A. Moore
Synopsis

Crossing the Chasm (1991) examines the market dynamics faced by innovative new products, particularly the daunting chasm that lies between early to mainstream markets.

The book provides tangible advice on how to make this difficult transition and offers real-world examples of companies that have struggled in the chasm.

Key idea 1 of 10

Technological innovations are absorbed in stages by different groups.

All innovative technological products take time to be absorbed by any community.

Due to differences in attitudes to new technology, this adoption process tends to happen in stages, one group of people at a time, according to the aptly named Technology Adoption Life Cycle.

The first to adopt a new technology are the technology enthusiasts, for whom technology is a central interest in life. They simply want the hottest new technology before everyone else, even if it is still bug-ridden and faulty in places.

Next in line are the visionaries. Rather than the technology itself, they are interested in the strategic competitive advantage it could provide. They seek breakthroughs, not minor improvements to the status quo.

The above two groups constitute the relatively small early market, which is followed by the vital and far larger mainstream market.

Once a technology has proven itself and a clear market leader has emerged, the pragmatists, constituting roughly one third of the entire market, feel safe enough to jump on board. Unlike the visionaries, they are not looking for big changes, but rather incremental benefits gained from standardized, well-supported products. Pragmatists make for extremely loyal customers and thus winning their support is the key to long-term market dominance.

The fourth group, the conservatives, is as numerous as the pragmatists, but suspicious of high-tech. They want simple, high-quality, low-cost products with no hassle involved.

Finally, the skeptics are a small high-tech resistant group who are most often ignored as a customer segment, but who can provide valuable feedback on how your product is failing to meet their expectations.

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