Crossing the chasm

The phrase comes from "Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers" by Geoffrey Moore.

The chasm exists because after a certain point of selling a product to early adopters, the sales reach a plateau where the next stage of growth is to take the product to the masses. In the book, Moore argues that the fundamental issue entrepreneurs and product managers face when trying to cross the chasm is the fact that while early adopters are fine with incomplete features and early stage technologies in general, the early majority is pragmatic and will only accept the product once it solves a current problem they face. To them the product must represent a practical improvement to what they do – not merely promises of future ROI potential.

Moore sees four fundamental characteristics of visionaries that alienate the next market’s buyers, the pragmatists:

- lack of respect for the value of industry or colleagues’ experiences
- taking a greater interest in technology than in their industry
- failing to recognise the importance of existing product infrastructure
- overall disruptiveness

These differences demand that you market and sell to these two types of client in very differently ways.

It is argued that in order to successfully cross the chasm, a succession of strategies need to be implemented:

1- Target the point of attack: Segment the market into target niches and focus on one target at a time. Dominate target niches and become market leader. Start moving to adjacent niches.
2- Assemble the invasion force: Develop a whole product conpect and surround yourself with partners.
3- Define the battle: Create the competition and position your product.
4- Launch the invasion: Develop a sales marketing strategy and defines your pricing.


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