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Showing 1-10 of 28 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 73 reviews
on February 19, 2002
Moore's primary point in this book is that the early adopters of a technology are not necessarily the same as the mainstream market. Moore points out that early adapters often buy things because they're cool, not for practical reasons. Early adapters deal with pain in the form of bad interfaces, minimal network effects. etc. Following this informal observation, Moore divides the population into innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. This is his "Technology Adoption Life Cycle", of which the "underlying thesis is that technology is absorbed into any given community in stages corresponding to the psychological and social profiles of various segments within that market" (p. 15). He illustrates this with a bell curve with a horizontal axis corresponding to time of adoption. There's no explanation for why a Bell curve; I'm guessing it just looks pretty in PowerPoint. Moore continues with "this process can be thought of as a continuum with definite stages, each associated with a definable group" (p. 15), although actual definitions are notable by their absence. So Moore advises us that marketing to the two groups might have to be different. Complex? No. Obvious? Perhaps. In any case, this observation is followed with 185 pages of examples and pep talks which I found perfectly readable, but without much additional content.
The second point, which is really just as important, is that the way to "cross the chasm" is by targeting a single industry or group of users, a so-called "vertical market". The only way customers who are beyond the early adopter phase are going to buy into a new product is if it is easy to adopt or if it truly fills a perceived desperate need. That is, it looks less "disruptive". Usually this means a lot of custom integration with industry-specific infrastructure. It's easier to build something well integrated with existing, for say, just the airline industry and their SABRE database backend, than it is to try to target the entire Fortune 500, each sector of which has adopted different sorts of databases. It worked just the way Moore described for my company, where Moore's book was required reading.
You can get much more insight about sales and marekting (as well as finance and logistics) about disruptive technologies from Clayton Christensen's excellent "The Innovator's Dilemma". You can learn more about marketing segmentation and network effects from Shapiro and Varian's "Information Rules". I might be biased as both a techie and a recovering academic, but I liked the more heavily researched, serious case-study orientation as well as the precise, restrained, academic tone of these two books from business professors. On the other hand, Moore's book gives you an excellent feel for the seat of the pants consulting and hype side of the business world, which itself is a useful education.
Moore's book is breezy and highly readable. This is great can't-sleep-on-the-airplane material. And two good ideas are more than you get out of most pop business books.
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on August 26, 2001
This book works best when read in combination with Inside the Tornado. These two books have also been updated and integrated into Moore's latest, Living on the Fault Line. Crossing the Chasm, like the other books, is about and for marketing within high-tech enterprises. Moore's view is that high tech products require marketing strategies that differ from those in other industries. The "chasm" is the gap between sales to technically literate buyers and mainstream buyers. Moore's book provides well thought out strategies for bridging this gap. Moore disputes the prevailing view that rapid mainstream growth can follow continuously from early market success. Quite different strategies are needed and Moore provides them, illustrated by examples of companies and products that have successfully crossed the chasm. This is well worth reading, though if you read only one book by Moore, make it his latest, Living on the Fault Line.
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on July 13, 2012
There are a number of great insights in this book, especially for engineers who are beginning to climb up out of their heavy technical world and want to have true and serious impact on the real world. I was a bit disappointed to see that the transformation to the online version appears to have at least one recurring defect. It looks like some symbol used in lists in the paper book does not translate properly into a symbol in the on-line version. What we see on the Kindle Reader on the iPad are lines starting with "535." It would be nice if there were someway to point out these defects to someone with an expectation of this copy automatically get updated at some point in time.

Even with this annoyance, which caused me to downgrade the book by one star, the book is very readable and useful. I was also a bit surprised to see that the Kindle version of the book is slightly more expensive than the paper version, which makes no sense to me at all!
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on September 7, 2013
The latest version of the book is from 2006. The kindle version is for the 1998 edition. My rating is based on this alone.
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on May 12, 2013
I had heard of this book so many times during my MBA and startup days so I always wanted to read it. But because this book is so highly quoted, I had also read various summaries and articles written around it. Reading these gave me the feeling that I know enough of what this book is all about and so perhaps I can give it a skip.

Turns out I was wrong. No matter how much you think you know it, this book is still a goldmine. In spite of knowing the basics of diffusion curve and the way innovation spreads, I still got to learn many new things. Just to highlight a few:
- Why do products with better features don't always end up winning the market?
- What are the peculiarities of users in each segment of diffusion curve?
- Difference between a sales driven and a market driven company and which one you should be?
- The importance of hitting the right pain point and choosing the right niche

Certain not so good things about the book:
- Most examples are bit dated as this book was written quite sometime ago so young folks might not have heard of these companies
- Certain parts of the book specially the sales strategy seem to be applicable more to the B2B businesses and less for B2C type consumer internet businesses
- Also certain portions of the book, specially the last chapter or so, seems like a little outdated in present context of 2013

Nonetheless, overall this book is a must recommend for all entrepreneurs, technology enthusiasts and product managers. It should be a part of your library as there will be times when you will have to look back and reference certain parts of it.
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on September 6, 2012
As leader of a business launched recently with Kickstarter, I was reminded of this work by a respected Professor at MIT. Don't worry about the age of the edition: the book is sensible and timeless (though perhaps some of the examples/cases might seem old).
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on July 13, 2003
There are plenty of long reviews on this, so here's just a short synthesis. This is considered the Bible of marketing thought for early stage, technically-oriented products. It describes the phases of customer thinking, and how you have to appeal to them, including some non-intuitive but dead-on approaches for making the leap to the Early Majority.
For some reason, this second edition seems to have been edited poorly though, with grammar erros and such. Unfortunate for a great work.
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on December 26, 2013
Well. I got the book because it was highly recommended to me. But as often I though there was too many repetitions and at the same time, not enough interesting and practical knowledge. Basically the books says that you have different groups of user, the ones who dare to try new things, those who dare less, the sceptical etc... After 60 pages, I just couldn't get much more out of it, so I quit the book. Maybe it reveals something wonderfull later. I wouldn't know. But I didn't like much the start as it could just have been written in an article. Regards. M
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on April 1, 2015
I like this book because it gave me confidence and guidelines on how effectively build and sell your product to more profitable market which is mainstream market. It helped to make a better plans to become profitable company.
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on June 18, 2013
As an application engineer on the verge of making the transition to Product Line Management, this book has been very enlightening and insightful. While there are several marketing nuggets, I found the commentary detailing how to categorize prospective customers based upon their risk tolerance very interesting. In an effort to come up to speed quickly, I've read several interesting books over the past several months but "Crossing the Chasm" inspired the most thought as its definitely a theoretical read with a nice mix of real-world marketing examples and company references.
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