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Book Reviews
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Title: Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling
Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers
Author: Geoffrey A. Moore
Stars: ***

The Technology Adoption Life Cycle Model has been the marketing model of
choice for the high tech industry for quite some time. It’s the familiar bell
shaped curve with beginner and early adopter phases to the left, followed by
the early majority and late majority within 1 standard deviation of the mean, and
finishing up with the laggard phase.

Unlike the recently reviewed book, Big Bang Disruption, which rejects this
model, Author, Geoffrey Moore supports it, but with alterations. He indicates
that there are chasms between each of the phases mentioned above with the
largest and deepest being between the early adopter and early majority
phases. It’s the period right before the product takes off and becomes
mainstream.

The book explains how to recognize the onset of the chasm as well as how to
cross it. The key to success is to replicate the D-Day approach – 1) Target a
very specific market where you can dominate from the beginning. 2) Drive your
competitors out of the niche 3) Use your solid base for broadening operations.
The author explains the steps with a fair amount of detail to include helping
define a product’s target market by creating an elevator statement. Step-by-
step instructions are provided.

Crossing the Chasm is an interesting read. In its third edition, some will argue
the continued relevance of the model. Regardless, the concepts appear sound
and can help a company negotiate the perils of marketing and selling products
throughout their life cycle.
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