Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore examines the challenges faced by innovative new products in the market, particularly the chasm that lies between early and mainstream markets.
This book provides practical advice on how to make this difficult transition while offering examples of companies that have struggled during this transition.
You may be wondering if you should read the book. This book review will tell you what important lessons you can learn from this book so you can decide if it is worth your time.
At the end of this book review, I’ll also tell you the best way to get rich by reading and writing.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Crossing the Chasm Book Summary
Lesson 1: Similar to an invasion, you’ve to build a bridgehead before you can cross the chasm.
When you launch a major attack on the mainstream market, you commit an act of aggression against the players already established there.
First, you need to get a head start. That means becoming the undisputed leader in a subset of the pragmatic group. If you build on that foundation, you can move into adjacent niches and then into the overall market. The niche provides the fuel for the fire.
However, specialization requires discipline: you can’t sell to everyone who doesn’t fit your niche. Many companies that live in chasms simply can’t say “no” to new revenue streams. Instead of specializing in one area, they spread their products across multiple markets, exhausting their resources in the process.
Your ability to appeal to the pragmatists who value products that are well supported, well referenced and sold by market leaders increases when your niche is narrow.
To become a de facto market leader, you must first win the majority of new business in a given niche.
Also, more people in the target market will talk about your product, so positive reviews spread quickly.
Last but not least, if you limit yourself to a certain market segment, you can develop a standard product tailored to the needs of that segment, with additional features, services, and a support system that will satisfy the pragmatists.
Lesson 2: Select the most promising subgroup of consumers as your first focus.
If you do not have access to reliable data, it can be difficult to make the risky decision of which niche market to penetrate first. Therefore, intuitive understanding rather than logical analysis is required here.
Identifying your ideal customer base can help you make this decision. When you create these use cases, you can envision how your product will resonate with a variety of consumers. You think about who will use the product and how it will help the buyer out of their current situation.
An example of e-book use would be airline maintenance managers buying them for their repair teams. By having access to the most up-to-date repair manuals, employees can work more efficiently and save money by avoiding unnecessary delays.
This exercise is about identifying a broad spectrum of potential buyers so you can narrow your options to the group most likely to purchase your products. Customers who are more pragmatically inclined are unlikely to buy your product unless it solves a pressing problem in that market, making it difficult for you to enter the market.
In this abyss, time is your enemy. You have three months to find the right partners and launch a complete product that meets the needs of your target market.
Also, think about the companies that are already competing in this sector. If your competitor has already crossed the divide, they will have access to the same benefits you were hoping for.
Once you have established a beachhead, there’s no turning back. Although it’s possible to succeed in the wrong niche, failure is virtually guaranteed if you hesitate.
Lesson 3: Use a bold claim to establish your product as an industry-standard in the minds of your target audience.
A product’s positioning is the most important factor in determining whether or not a customer will buy a product. The attributes of a product as perceived by the customer, e.g., “Mercedes is a high-end automobile,” are examples of the attributes that make up a product’s “positioning.”
However, the priorities of different consumer groups are different. Some place more emphasis on a product’s specifications, such as its speed or size, than others, but pragmatists consider a product’s market position to be the most compelling evidence of its value.
This puts you in a difficult position as an upstart in the market with no established status or competitor to fear.
The good thing is that you can always define your competitors by pointing customers to two existing competitors.
Take Silicon Graphics, for example, which brought us the first digital tools for film editing.
Before you develop a product, you need to figure out who you’re selling to by naming a competitor they’ve been using for some time. Cutting and splicing film would be an antiquated process for Silicon Graphics.
A product alternative is then used to differentiate from the competition, in this case a competing company that’s also introduced a new breakthrough innovation. This may include state-of-the-art SUN workstations for Silicon Graphics that aren’t designed for film editing.
You can use these two competitors to your advantage and stake a claim to market leadership by showing that you serve a previously unfilled niche. This claim must be brief but compelling and should be no longer than two sentences. To give you an idea of what those two sentences might sound like:
If you’re a film editor dissatisfied with the available alternatives on the market, our workstation is a digital editor that gives you complete creative control over the images you work with. Unlike the SUN workstations that are an alternative, we’ve everything you need to edit a movie.
Lesson 4: Find a sales channel that pragmatic people are already familiar with and work to improve its performance.
It’s important to decide on a pricing strategy and distribution channels before you launch your attack on the niche of your choice. This includes agreeing on a price and distribution strategy for your products.
Realists have high expectations of the companies they do business with. Therefore, before jumping over the cliff, the most important thing is to establish a distribution channel that pragmatic customers are already familiar with.
To bridge the gap, direct sales is often the most effective method because it creates demand, is fast, and encourages customer collaboration. This sales method requires the use of a full-time sales team that deals directly with large companies as customers.
You can move from direct sales to a channel that’s better suited to meet high demand once you’ve established dominance in your niche market. Retail stores, online marketplaces, and even vast networks of resellers that package and resell your product with software, for example, could be part of your distribution strategy.
Distributors face a difficult and potentially dangerous task when they’re asked to sell an unproven new product. Therefore, your primary goal in pricing should be to motivate them to sell. To do this, it’s necessary to pay them a higher commission than is initially appropriate and to reduce their share of the profit as you increase your market share.
The second goal of pricing is to encourage buying. The pragmatic group is more likely to buy from established companies, so setting the price at the industry standard is a good strategy.
Crossing the Chasm Book Review
Crossing the Chasm is a great book I’d like to recommend to anyone who is interested in business.
The author is right when he says that high-tech products can only be commercially successful if they bridge the gap between early adopters and the mass market. They must focus on a specific market segment where they can best meet the needs of their target group.
About the Author
Geoffrey A. Moore is a venture capitalist, author, and consultant. Inside the Tornado, The Gorilla Game, and Living on the Fault Line are also his works.
The author’s experience as a high-tech consultant in Silicon Valley inspired this book.
Initially, the author and publisher predicted that the book would only appeal to a small group of people and would sell only a few thousand copies. As a result of its success on the runway, over 300,000 copies were sold.
Buy The Book: Crossing the Chasm
If you want to buy the book Crossing the Chasm, you can get it from the following links:
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