Monday, November 28, 2016

Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey A. Moore

"The most important book for high-tech marketing. An absolute must read for entrepreneurs!"

Everyone loves high-tech. Maybe. Everyone loves innovation. Not really (see also The Myths of Innovation, Scott Berkun). The question is how to bring an innovative high-tech product into the mainstream market. Many high-tech products get to the innovation and early-adopter market, but fail to reach the mainstream market. The book indeed defines the step between the early adopters and the mainstream as the scary chasm a high-tech product has to cross to get to the success. Additionally, Moore explains that this chasm is extremely dangerous for companies because they have to face this challenging and costly phase after having the first successes with innovators and early adopters. This means getting back to skeptics since the early adopters supporting the product, also called visionaries, do not represent a good reference for the mainstream.

Model / Concepts
The Technology Adoption
  • Innovators – The technology enthusiasts love technology. They spend hours trying to get products to work and forgive ghastly documentation, slow performance, etc. They make great critics because they truly care, and thus represent an excellent reference.
  • Early Adopters – The visionaries match an emerging technology to a strategic opportunity. They are looking for a fundamental break through and they are willing to take risks to pursue their goals. They are the least price-sensitive profile and are willing to serve as highly visible reference.
  • Early Majority – These are the pragmatists. They want to make incremental, measurable, predictable progress. They are risk averse, are therefore hard to win over, but very loyal once won. They want to buy from proven market leaders and are reasonably price sensitive.
  • Late Majority – These are the conservatives, which are against discontinuous innovation since they believe in tradition, not progress. They like to buy complete packages, with everything bundled at heavily discounted price.
  • Laggards – Also called the skeptics, they only buy when they must.
The Invasion
Attack a niche market big, where you can become the leader, then use the leadership position to attack the next niche market.
The Whole Product
The whole product is composed of:
  • Generic product – what we ship in the box
  • Marketing promise – whatever else is needed to achieve the customer’s compelling reason to buy

This is clearly a must read book for the high-tech marketing of new products.
The impact is important, as it allows avoiding typical errors bringing to the failure of promising technological innovations. The solutions given in the book are simple yet powerful.
I had the chance to reading it just before we faced the chasm to get to mainstream, and this helped a lot to better focus on the real challenges and to be careful not underestimating the effort of this phase, which is indeed very demanding.
In my opinion, this is the most important book for high-tech marketing!
  • rating Amazon – 4.7/5.0 (95 reviews)
  • my rating – 5.0/5.0
  • fun factor – 4.0/5.0
  • simplicity – 4.5/5.0
  • impact – 5.0/5.0