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Crossing the Chasm, 3rd Edition (Collins Business Essentials) Paperback – January 13, 2014
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From the Inside Flap
This third edition brings Moore's classic work up to date with dozens of new examples of successes and failures, new strategies for marketing in the digital world, and Moore's most current insights and findings. He also includes two new appendices, the first connecting the ideas in Crossing the Chasm to work subsequently published in his Inside the Tornado, and the second presenting his recent groundbreaking work for technology adoption models for high-tech consumer markets.
From the Back Cover
"Crossing the Chasm truly addresses the subtleties of high-tech marketing. We have embraced many of the concepts in the book and it has become a 'bestseller' with Unisys."
- James A. Unruh, CEO, Unisys
"Crossing the Chasm is no longer just the name of a great book - it has become a very effective management process. In venture capital, chasm management is a widely used boardroom tool for emerging technology companies. It works!"
- Joe Schoendorf, executive partner, Accel Partners
"Crossing the Chasm has contributed more to the art and science of high-tech marketing than any other book in the last decade. If you are not one of the thousands of businesses and universities incorporating the chasm insight into your operations, you have to be worried about your future."
- Tom Kendra, vice president, Worldwide Data Management Sales, IBM Software Group
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First of all, the chasm model applies in B2B scenarios. This is not a b2c marketing book even if some ideas do apply.
What I found interesting was that this book provides this model describing 5 different types of customers. Then we find ways in which to address these customers, the proper timings, the proper sales pitches, the product pricing, the competitors, the strategic partnerships, the development team, and even the compensation appropriate for the team, in order to attack each of the 4 market segments (1 market segment, or psychographic, as the author calls it, being pretty unapproachable).
For me it would be an honest 4.5, as I didn't see a lot of references to more formal papers, but just to a few other books, and I don't want to just trust the author's wisdom on this, even if the book seems full of good ideas, and great explanations, and showcases nice ways of thinking about problems.
I recommend this to anyone living in a capitalist system, seriosly....But more seriously indeed, this is very good for developers that work in product companies. All of the marketing, sales and management stuff will make a hell of a lot more sense after this book! For marketing and sales people I'm not sure what to recommend, but the book does claim to create a common vocabulary for the different departments of an organization, so dunno, maybe try it, marketing/sales/management folks!
Also, if anyone knows a good B2C marketing or sales book, feel free to recommend!
I first became aware of Moore’s book “Living on the Fault Line” (see my review of this and “Escape Velocity”) when at CSC Consulting where I also started to hear about his concepts such as the “Technology Adoption Life Cycle.” Given increased recent interest in such topics, it was heartening to discover that Moore had issued a new edition of his initial book which drew me to examine this version. and the book for the first time.
The book consists of two parts. Part I is about “Discovering the Chasm” the need to gain support for a disruptive innovation vs. just expecting The Field of Dreams (if you build it they will come) can be realized. Part II is about Crossing the Chasm using an analogy to the WWII D-Day invasion where the group has to: target the point of attack, assemble the invasion force, define the battle, and launch the invasion. A conclusion discusses the financial, organizational and R&D aspects of approaching and leaving the chasm behind. He treats how different stakeholders are involved and mobilized (see my review of Stakeholder Theory: The State of the Art ). Helpful appendices summarize the high-tech market development model (which is business to business and the subject of Moore’s second book “Inside the Tornado”) and a four gears model for engaging consumers in adopting digital innovations (business to consumer).
At the time of this writing, I was doing some work with a non-profit organization advocating treatment and research advances related to mental health issues. I was struck by the notion that Moore’s model could apply in such non-profit sector situations as well (see my review of Daniel Siegel’s Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation based on recent neuroscience). It also appeared to me that these ideas could relate to career entrepreneurship (see my review of the book “Value Proposition Design” by A. Osterwalder et al and another of their books, “Business Model You”).
Because of my background and interests at the time, my favorite parts had to do with the parts on basic definitions of the technology adoption life cycle and marketing elements such as the diagrams showing “the simplified whole product model” (page 137) and “the competitive positioning compass” (page 167, 189). I was impressed that the revised edition had pertinent references to then current developments such as the evolution of SaaS (Software as a Service) with groups such as when the founders of PeopleSoft overtaken by SAP and Oracle initiated Work Day and contributed to the rise of Cloud Computing. Other cases sited that were particularly relevant to me included the one on Documentum (use in Pharma Regulatory & Safety matters), early targeting of the Mac computer at Corporate Advertising/Art Departments and the graphic appeal of these machines. Moore’s proposed definition of chasm crossing transition roles such as target market segment manager and whole product manager as well as the compensation/reward considerations between them and pioneering salespeople and technologists also stood out for me.
So, for an update on chasm crossing for disruptive innovations (and its broader application), take a look at Moore’s most recent edition of his excellent first book.
The world of startups has always been fascinating yet elusive since I claim Houston as my home. "Crossing the Chasm" explains the psychology that derives from people's personalities and dictates how they analyze and evaluate new products in the Technology Adoption Life Cycle. If you've ever had an 'awesome' idea for a product or service and failed in its implementation (as I have several times), this book is like the advisor/counselor you wish you had when things were going off track. For sales and marketing, the book emphasizes concepts like making a product easy to buy (as opposed to easy to sell). I truly think any entrepreneur-at-heart will benefit from new perspectives!
This is the first book review/recommendation I've ever written up but when one feels enlightened, one would be remiss to not share it.
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It's given me loads of ideas to take away from