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Escape Velocity: Free Your Company's Future from the Pull of the Past Hardcover – September 6, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"Read this book to learn how to create a company as powerful as Apple."--Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist of Apple

“A pragmatic framework to help mature enterprises escape the pull of their pasts and embrace the new reality of work.” (John Chen, CEO, Sybase)

From the Inside Flap

From the world's leading high-tech strategist comes the definitive road map to help established companies create next-generation growth.

Geoffrey Moore's now classic Crossing the Chasm became a must-read book by presenting an innovative frame work to address the make or break obstacle facing all high tech companies: how to gain market share from early adopters and from mainstream consumers.

Based on twenty years' experience advising the top leaders  of many of the world's most successful entereprises.  Moore's Escape Velocity offers a pragmatic plan to engage the most critical challenge that established enterprises face in the twenty-first-century economy: how to move beyond past success and drive next-generation growth from new lines of business. 

As he worked with senior management teams, Moore repeatedly found that executives were trapped by short-term performance-based compensation schemes.  The result was critical decision-makers overweighting their legacy commitments, an embarassingly low success rate in new-product launches, and widespread failure to sustain any kind of next-generation business at scale.

In Escape Velocity, Moore presents a cogent strategy for generating future growth within an established enterprise.  Organized a hierarchy of powers--category power, company power, market power, offer power and execution power--this insightful work shows how each level of power can be orchestrated to achieve overall success.  Moore explains

  • how to use mergers and acquisitionsas well as organic innovation to systematically migrate an enterprise's portfolio out of lower-growth and into higher-growth categories;
  • how to reallocate resources across an enterprise in deliberately asymmetrical ways to create a powerful and sustainable foundation for long-term competitive advantage;
  • how to leverage target-market initiatives as accelerants to growth and as stepping-stones to broad overall category success;
  • how to create unmatchable offerings by being swift to neutralize competitors' innovations and laser-focused on driving in-house innovations to make a business imperious to competitors;
  • how to fundamentally change the execution cadence of an organizations, pushing change from innovation to broad deployment, creating an irreversible tipping point along the way.

Escape Velocity Copyright 2011 by Geoffrey A. Moore.  All rights reserved.  Printed in the United States of America.  No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.  For information, address HarperCollins Publishers 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022

HarperCollins books may be purchased for educational business, or sales promotional use.  For information, please write: Special Markets Department, HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022

First Edition

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data has been applied for.

ISBN:  978-0-06-204089-3

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Download an excerpt from Escape Velocity [PDF].

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; First Edition edition (October 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062040898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062040893
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Geoffrey Moore is an author, speaker, and advisor who splits his consulting time between start-up companies in the Mohr Davidow portfolio and established high-tech enterprises, most recently including Salesforce, Microsoft, Intel, Box, Aruba, Cognizant, and Rackspace.

Moore's life's work has focused on the market dynamics surrounding disruptive innovations. His first book, Crossing the Chasm, focuses on the challenges start-up companies face transitioning from early adopting to mainstream customers. It has sold more than a million copies, and its third edition has been revised such that the majority of its examples and case studies reference companies come to prominence from the past decade. Moore's most recent work, Escape Velocity, addresses the challenge large enterprises face when they seek to add a new line of business to their established portfolio. It has been the basis of much of his recent consulting.

Irish by heritage, Moore has yet to meet a microphone he didn't like and gives between 50 and 80 speeches a year. One theme that has received a lot of attention recently is the transition in enterprise IT investment focus from Systems of Record to Systems of Engagement. This is driving the deployment of a new cloud infrastructure to complement the legacy client-server stack, creating massive markets for a next generation of tech industry leaders.

Moore has a bachelors in American literature from Stanford University and a PhD in English literature from the University of Washington. After teaching English for four years at Olivet College, he came back to the Bay Area with his wife and family and began a career in high tech as a training specialist. Over time he transitioned first into sales and then into marketing, finally finding his niche in marketing consulting, working first at Regis McKenna Inc, then with the three firms he helped found: The Chasm Group, Chasm Institute, and TCG Advisors. Today he is chairman emeritus of all three.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Escape Velocity by Geoffrey Moore addresses the fundamental issue of driving deep innovation and value realization in your company not by some new silver bullet but by the hard work required to free your company's future from its past. Moore's central premise in this well written, actionable and highly recommended book, is that companies have a structural bias for investing in things today that cause it to starve out the new products and services that will generate growth in the next 2 -3 years.

Moore is a well-established innovator, thinker and marketing expert in the Silicon Valley. His prior books like Crossing the Chasm, Dealing with Darwin, etc. are foundational in the tech industry. This book leverages these prior works, but it does not require you to have read them. Suggestion if you are looking to read a companion work I would suggest Crossing the Chasm as it is related to the topics discussed in Escape Velocity. This book is not a rehash of his market adoption model. Rather it is a new set of tools concerning how you think about, develop and execute new strategies that break you out of last year plus 10% thinking.

What makes this book highly recommended is that Moore offers a broad set of tools that work outside of tech to give executives and leaders real tools that they need right now. This book is a model for a business book that is actionable, practical and deep enough to help you apply the ideas while still being engaging and interesting.

The book organizes itself around a hierarchy of powers that together shape a market, companies competing in that market and the products and services they offer in that market.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gene Morphis on July 30, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Geoffrey Moore is a very successful author and has also started multiple consulting and speaking businesses. He is also a partner in a venture capital firm. Mr. Moore writes extensively about strategy and marketing, particularly in technology markets.

In Escape Velocity Mr. Moore sets up circumstances in which businesses struggle with a transition from existing products and services to the products and services that will replace them.

I have two quick observations: first, this book is clearly about business-to-business marketing. If you are in the B2B space, there are some lessons here, but this book clearly is not aimed at you. Second, since Mr. Moore is involved with tech companies, his examples are almost exclusively tech examples. Not so narrow as not to be interesting, but perhaps limited for readers who are in, say, insurance or construction.

Moore's theme is that there is a hierarchy of strategy, which he labels powers. (It is my interpretation that these are strategy equivalents). Specifically and in order: Category Power, Company Power, Market Power, Offer Power and Execution Power. He sets up his argument with examples of enterprises where strong legacy products exist and the enterprise gets the majority of its cash flow from those. Some more forward-thinking members of the firm envision the next generation product and begin scratching for resources to advance those. In his view as presented in this book, far too many firms are too reluctant or at least too slow to free up the best people and adequate capital to support the new. The old-world firm that I would point to as the exemplar of the opposite is Gillette, which has steadily and relentlessly pushed its lead in razors and razor blades, cannibalizing the old product.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By George Bush HALL OF FAME on March 14, 2014
Format: Hardcover
"Market transitions wait for no one" - John Chambers, Cisco CEO. Moore opens by stating that the book is about freeing a company's future from the pull of the past. He contends that executives are often trapped by short-term performance-based compensation schemes that overweight legacy commitments and lead to a low success rate in new product launches. He suggests using mergers/acquisitions as well as organic innovation, being swift to neutralize competitors' innovations and laser-focused on driving in-house innovations to make a business impervious to competitors, and reducing the time period from innovation to broad deployment. Success also requires that an organization recognize not-to-be-repeated market changes (secular growth) for the opportunities they present - whenever a new category or class of customers becomes available. Example: Opening up the Asian market to art auctions. Not to be confused with cyclical growth which refers to an established market in which the customers remain the same. His key point is that one can miss out on cyclical growth and still get back into the game, not the case with secular change (eg. Microsoft vs. the mobile phone market).

There is a hierarchy of strategy, beginning with Category, Company, Market, Offer, and ending with Execution. Being able to enter new categories and exit old ones is fundamental to freeing a company from the pull of the past. Category power is a function of the demand for a given class of products or services - those in high demand (eg. smart phones, cloud computing) grow faster and typically enjoy better profit margins, while those in a low-power category (eg. desktop computers, e-mail) involve small margins.
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