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One Minute Book Review: Crossing the Chasm

Last week, I finished reading Geoffrey Moore's excellent 
Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling high-tech products to mainstream customers.

(image courtesy of wikipedia)

Moore sets out by describing the technology adoption lifecycle, and the different demographics that compose it:

The Technology Enthusiasts live on the bleeding edge and take pride to being the first try out new things. They generate the first buzz, but lack loyalty.

Early Adopters
The Visionaries see great new strategic opportunities in new products, and are willing the invest and participate heavily in the product development to get a game changing advantage over the competition.

Early Majority
The Pragmatists stand for continuity. They want a proven solution helping them make an incremental, predictable improvement to their business.

Late Majority
The Conservatives believe more in tradition than progress. They will finally adopt new technologies when I becomes inconvenient not do so. By that time, the products have become a commodity, that is well tested and sells with low margins.

The Skeptics pride themselves in intentionally being behind the mainstream. They do not participate in the high-tech marketplace, except to block purchases. Their contribution is feedback about the discrepancies between sales claims and delivered products.

But then comes the key observation: the technology adaption lifecycle does not look like a nicely shaped bell-curve, but more like this:

(image courtesy of wikipedia)

Ans this will be the central theme of the rest of the book: what separates early and mainstream markets, the gap between early adopters and early majority, the Chasm, and how to cross it.

Moore makes a compelling argument around what he calls Beachhead Strategy and the Whole Product Model. He describes what it takes for a company to get a foothold in the mainstream market and expand from there.

A great read. Highly recommended.



About Axel Fontaine

Axel Fontaine is the founder and CEO of Boxfuse the easiest way to deploy JVM and Node.js applications to AWS.

Axel is also the creator and project lead of Flyway, the open-source tool that makes database migration easy.

He is a Continuous Delivery and Immutable Infrastructure expert, a Java Champion, a JavaOne Rockstar and a regular speaker at many large international conferences including JavaOne, Devoxx, Jfokus, JavaZone, QCon, JAX, ...

You can follow him on Twitter at @axelfontaine


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