Rereading Geoffery Moore’s Crossing the Chasm

Geoffery Moore's Crossing the Chasm

I remember reading Geoffery Moore’s Crossing the Chasm when it originally came out in 1991. At the time it seemed like a useful statement of obvious regarding market and product maturity with useful suggestions on how to move beyond selling to early adopters. His “revised” technology adoption life-cycle and “whole product” marketing became core parts of my practice of marketing. The book sat on my bookshelf, unopened for years…until last week.

I was asked by a client (recently funded and still in stealth mode) to help clarify the opportunities for integrating their new service with an established market leader. The assignment sparked a memory of Crossing the Chasm‘s pen-based computer example and a sample user, Jerome. I pulled the book off the shelf. Nostalgically, I scanned the book. I then read the discussion target-customer characterization. Wow. Fifteen years after its original release, the analytical framework and lessons remain useful and fresh.

In this case, the Crossing the Chasm model helped me deliver sound product marketing deliverables. Using the framework, I was able to quickly articulate some powerful use cases which were fairly easy to validate.

The client and I still have more work to do before launching the company and the product. Following the ideas in Geoffery Moore’s Crossing the Chasm enabled us to forge agreement on target customers, key investment areas and whole product issues.