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on 18 July 2017
Mind blowing book - a must read for any SaaS company - or in fact any company looking at developing a disruptive product.

I actually read this as a result of it being referenced in another book (unfortunately I can't remember which one!), but my word this is worth the purchase. Having actually run a fairly "groundbreaking" product (partnermarketing.com) for the last 5 years - a lot of this book speaks to the challenges we've faced - and it was great to see that we've overcome them in ways Geoffrey described (with a lot of new ideas thrown in too).

Well worth a read if you run any business looking to innovate
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on 8 April 2017
This book is a bit antiquated and presents fairly obvious patterns. Luckily, it was short.
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on 25 March 2017
This book is truly excellent.its been written in a great format which keeps you turning the pages.

It's given me loads of ideas to take away from
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on 28 March 2017
Simply a must read for any start-up that wants to accelerate in the high technology field. Well written book and opens your mind on how marketing strategy should work.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 17 February 2014
As Geoffrey Moore explains, in the first two editions of this business "classic" and once again in this new one, his purpose is to answer "in considerable detail" two questions: Why can't the same skills applied so effectively in other areas also be applied when marketing high technology? And what is it going to take to get it right?

The "chasm" to which Moore refers is a metaphor for this phenomenon: "the rapid acceleration in market development followed by a dramatic lull, occurring whenever a discontinuous innovation is introduced - [one that] drives all emerging high-tech enterprises to a point of crisis where they must leave the relative safety of their established early market and go out in search of a new home in the mainstream. These forces are inexorable - they will [begin italics] drive [end italics] the company. The key question is whether management can become aware of the changes in time to leverage the opportunities such awareness confers."

In other words, "The chasm is a drastic lull in market development that occurs after the visionary market is saturated and pragmatists will not buy into a discontinuous technology unless they can reference other pragmatists, thus the catch-22. Pragmatists dependent exclusively on references from others in their own industry and are highly support-oriented."

Many business plans are based on a traditional Technology Adoption Life Cycle, a smooth bell curve of high tech customers, progressing from Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, and finally Laggards. In turn, this model becomes the foundation for a high-tech marketing model which says the way to develop a market is to work the curve from left to right, progressively winning each group of users, using each "captured" group as a reference for the next. Moore demonstrates that in fact, there are cracks in the curve, between each phase of the cycle, representing a disassociation between any two groups; that is, "the difficulty any group will have in accepting a new product if it is presented the same way as it was to the group to its immediate left." The largest crack, so large it can be considered a chasm, is between the Early Adopters and the Early Majority. Many (most) high tech ventures fail trying to make it across this chasm.

The core insights in the two previous editions remain but Moore updates the companies that serve as exemplars, for better or worse. The successful chasm negotiators include Aruba, Documentum, Infusion, Lithium, Mozilla, Salesforce.com, VMware, and Word Day. They are juxtaposed with companies that include Better Place, Motorola Iridium, Segway, Solyndra, and Webvan. One of the most valuable lessons to be learned from these companies is expressed in the form of an analogy: "Trying to cross the chasm without taking a niche market approach is like trying to light a fire without kindling."

These are among the dozens of business subjects and issues of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of Moore's coverage.

o The Technology Adoption Life Cycle (Pages 11-17)
o Discovering the Chasm (25-26)
o First Principles (34-37)
o The Dynamics of Early Markets (48-53)
o The Dynamics of Mainstream Markets (63-67)
o The Perils of the Chasm, and, Fighting Your Way into the Mainstream (75-80)
o Successful Chasm Crossings (89-91)
o The Simplified Whole Product Model (137-150)
o Partners and Allies (150-152)
o The Competitive Positioning Compass (167-171)
o The Positioning Process, and, Passing the Elevator Test (183-188)
o Customer-Oriented Distribution (198-206)
o Financial Decisions: Breaking the Hockey Stick (216-220)
o Organizational Decisions (225-228)
o The Whole Product Manager (231-234)

Thoughtfully, Moore provides a "recap" section at the conclusion of Chapters 4-7. he also adds two appendices to the third edition. In my opinion, all by themselves, they are worth far more than the cost of the book. In Appendix 1, he provides an overview of the process by which markets develop end-to-end, from the Early Market across the Chasm through the Bowling Alley into the Tornado and on to Main Street. "The challenge is to get your company aligned on the right approach by reaching consensus about current market state."

In Appendix 2, "The Four Gears for Digital Consumer Adoption," he explains why online adoption is best characterized in terns of these activities: acquisition of traffic, engagement if users, monetizing their engagement, and enlisting "the faithful." He adds, and I agree, "Tipping points are as key to consumer adoption as they are to B2B. Prior to reaching one, all efforts to scale require pumping in additional fuel -- if you cut off the fuel supply, the system will revert to its original state. But after you pass the tipping point, the system restabilizes around a new status quo, and actually pulls you forward to get you to your new 'right' position. You can still screw this up (just ask the investors at Myspace and Groupon), but it takes some real effort to do so."

Congratulations to Moore on his trilogy of business classics (i.e. Crossing the Chasm, Inside the Tornado, and Living on the Fault Line). Albert Einstein once explained that he always asked the same questions on his final examinations at Princeton because "every year the answers are different," Geoffrey Moore continues to revise and update his thinking and his work because, although chasms, tornados, and fault lines remain, the strategies and tactics needed to negotiate them must be continuously evaluated and, when necessary, modified or replaced.
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on 6 March 2016
Good book that explains the product innovation cycle in a clear (albeit simplified) framework. It has a rightful place in the business innovation literature as a "must read". Only caveat of course is that it could lull the reader into thinking that this process is easy to manage as this analysis benefits hindsight bias (like almost all business books). One may find that the chasm crossing approach is quite chaotic and difficult to foresee by the entrepreneur as the industry structure is usually still rapidly evolving in the early years.
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on 19 September 2016
As a business week bestseller that’s had over a million copies sold in various languages, I had high expectations of this title. The book outlines a very accessible and easy to digest concepts and stretches it out over the course of the book to highlight different aspects of ‘crossing the chasm’. The book uses many widely known marketing concepts such as the adoption life cycle for new technologies, and goes in to more depth by describing the characteristics of the consumers at each stage and the pitfalls and opportunities for success.

The new releases of the book have generally been demanded due to examples being outdated, so the new edition makes use of examples such as Facebook, 3D printing, Ford, Google etc. These help to outline the concepts, and give them context which again makes them easier to digest.

I did feel that some of the descriptors and writing style was a little disengaging, and an effort to follow. This was partly due to the way the book is broken up by titles and subtitles. The concepts could have condensed into much smaller descriptors, but instead a lot of the book was lost in terminology and wording. By using so many new standalone descriptors I did find the book at times hard to focus on. I did however take away the holistic gist of the book, which was to focus on one ‘beachhead’ of a market which then has a bowling pin effect on a series of other markets and the characteristics of the varying consumers – Innovators, visionaries, pragmatists, conservatives and laggards.

An essential read for any disruptive marketeer, however I found a little broken up in it’s delivery.
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on 7 October 2016
This is a great book and explains many personal experiences in moving minds or not as the case may be. Theoretical in parts but solid on converting experience into reality. Worth reading alongside a book called Solution selling the STRONGMAN process which has many practical ideas. There is also a video on you tube explaining the process.
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on 18 February 2016
I work in an industry forum which aims to accelerate adoption of small cell technologies, and this book has really helped explain the two opposing mindsets on the early adopters and the mainstream, and hence why the chasm exists. Reading this has really helped me realize that going mainstream really does require a different approach and message.
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on 26 October 2015
Not actually containing anything innovative for people who already work in this area, is does a good job of pulling together a vision of marketing and development strategy for clueless upper management, who won't read this, just give it to their staff. (which is exactly what the book says don't do).
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