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Crossing the Chasm


A seminal work that describes the dynamics of high-tech markets—in particular, the chasm that separates early adopters from mainstream customers—and prescribes the market development tactics for crossing it.


5 thoughts on “Crossing the Chasm

  1. Looks to me, that 3.0 vendor program has not yet crossed the chasm. Ingram and to some extend Samsung is our visionary customer, we created a lot of customization for them, and they helped get 3.0 vendor program more or less prepared for the whole product offer. Since the book covers marketing, and how to package the product for mainstream market, it talks less about technology used, and efficiency, as it is about appearing to be a leader in a selected market.
    On the other hand 3.0 Chanel manager is probably not yet ready for crossing the chasm, as there is some more work that needs to be put it, before it can be packaged.

  2. Another wonderful book! My favorite quotes are “,,confidently as a born-again Christian holding four aces.” That’s pretty confident! And regarding lack of momentum, “..making the company look like a Tarzan frantically jerking back and forth, trying to get a vine moving with no leverage.” :-D~

    Biggest take aways / Ah-Ha! thoughts:
    1 – It is all about focus. Do one thing, do it really well for the customer and then move onto the next one thing!

    2 – Collaboration and interdepartmental interaction will be key. What do our current clients really look like? What I see is, I’m sure, different than what Shaun sees, which is different that the view George has, etc.

    3 – The first step seems like it is to know our clients well, find our past successes and where we have solved past / current mission-critical processes or issues. Personally, I think Knowledge Builder may be a big ticket to uncovering a possible beach head to storm. Prospects and clients love it, it interacts like social media, provides two way communication (or maybe can in the future?)…it is the concept that makes people I meet with lean forward and narrow their eyes as they envision what it could do for them.


  3. My thoughts and learnings from the book.

    1. MTC 3.0 platform is still not the complete, stable product, which is required to sell to the mass market and cross the chasm. The pragmatists want a stable product with all of the features required.

    2. MTC has not figure out the optimal target market for the product. For the past three years, the focus has been on the technology market. I think we need to analyze and figure out which other markets to go after.

    3. I am not sure what is the positioning of 3.0 Vendor Manager when selling to the customers. Who (within client’s internal departments), how, and why the customers will benefit from Vendor Manager. What is the customers are using today, how is their current solution not efficient, productive, or not complete solution, and how is the Vendor Manager better than their current solution.

  4. I read this book about 15 years ago. It was interesting to read again to see what still holds up. This revised edition had some good updates, but due to the explosion of new marketing techniques in the last 5 years, some of the marketing discussion is dated.

    That being said, core concepts still remain solid. I couldn’t help think about MTC’s position in the Technology Adoption Life Cycle. I think we’ve been unable to cross the chasm for many years now. A few poignant take aways from the book for me include the following:

    “The consequences of being sales-driven during the chasm period are, to put it simply, fatal.”

    “The fundamental principle for crossing the chasm is to target a specific niche market as your point of attack and focus all your resources on achieving the dominant leadership position in that segment.”

    “…the companies who failed had over designed for the target market because they were hedging their bets. Ironically, in the act of trying to reduce their market risk, they actually increased it.”

    And one of the important concepts we have not implemented well is the Whole Product Concept. This is something we are trying to implement now.

  5. First time blogger crossing my own personal chasm…here we go…

    The Bell Curve made it easier to understand a complex issue with the psychographics and the “market” by mapping out from innovators to laggards. But surprising to see how clearly they were defined and separated. Realizing I’m a late majority rather than a laggard was nice.

    The chasms that exists between the innovators and early adaptors, then early adaptors and early majority are so crucial to the success of the product. The dynamics that are involved with personalities (visionaries and pragmatists) and product adaptations, even by selecting a well defined segment, make it amazing to realize that these products can survive to change the world the way they do.

    Finally, when it comes to dominating a market unless you are extremely lucky you had better have the D-Day plan, and be as flexible as your local yogi, if you are going to succeed.

    What a wicked industry to have a whole product concept for an environment where change and upgraded capabilities as the norm.

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