on March 20, 2004
Long established as a classic, the drawing depicting the different classes of customers and their adoption rates are commonly used in the industry. I personally thought I already understood it, just from osmosis. However, reading the book taught me more about the characteristics of those customers, how you gain penetration into their markets, and most importantly how you manage a team and produce a product into those markets.
There are also lessons in there about establishing a beachhead and how to choose your target customer that dovetail nicely into some more modern work around persona identification in software development and the need to identify just one target persona for your application at a time. This is a great marketing book -- even if some of the specific company examples are somewhat dated -- whose concepts readily translate into not only management but directly into product development and vision.
on April 17, 2003
"If you build a better mousetrap" is the old saw about inventing new and improved products. But this adage is completely wrong; if you build a better mousetrap, they DON'T come and buy it and you are left wondering why your product failed to make the grade.
Geoffrey Moore writes clearly about the need to cross the chasm that exists between those customers who buy the latest and greatest and those who hang back for a bit, waiting for..what? They are waiting for an incentive to buy your product for other reasons than "it's NEW!" The problem is, there aren't enough of the customers who will buy anything because it's new and exciting--and what's more, the these customers aren't particularly loyal. The sweet spot of customers are those who wait to see if something new and inventive actually gives them back something of worth, a return on investment, a better way to work, doing more with less, you name it. These customers will often switch to a new technology, but only if they have the right incentive to do so.
If you fail to market effectively to this type of customer, you end up with a pile of boutique products that languish in sales and don't ramp up the profits for your firm. To avoid this all-too-common scenario, many companies are now hiring consultants to teach Moore's methods to their marketing and R&D departments. By "Crossing the Chasm" they strive to market products that will sell. If you are in a tech business, and especially if you are an inventor marketing a new idea, reading this book is a very good idea. In fact, I'd say it's required reading.
on August 29, 2003
There are some rare books that create revelations, and in my professional career, this is one of them. Now it is obvious why I often failed to connect with "Pragmatists" and other customers, who didn't seem to get it like the other "Visionaries" and "Technofiles" I had little trouble selling to.
I was the one who didn't get it!
In addition, marketing and sales books can be such dull tomes, but Moore's professional experience and accesible manner makes for an interesting read. His "lingo" has been picked up but many professionals, to the point where you need to read Moore just to be up to date. But the good news is, you will be much more effective in technical sales and marketing after reading this book.
on May 15, 2003
A good book. I don't know much about high-tech or marketing in general but it kept me turning the pages, non the less. However, for an ex-english prof., this piece is littered with typos! Moore's predictable humour lends itself nicely to the overall warming, I want to help you help yourself ambiance of the book. All now unemployed techies (and post-bubble, will-work-for-food VC's) will enjoy it as they cozy up in front of the fireplace and patch their wounds with the 'If only...' band-aid. Hindsight is always 20-20... I hope I can look into the future with such good vision. Anyway, this book will surely help.