Book Reviews

High Tech

Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers

Author: Geoffrey A. Moore, Foreword by Regis McKenna
Publisher HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: August 1999

Reviewer:Joel Klebanoff
Joel Klebanoff, is a copywriter and marketing communications consultant specializing in the information technology industry. He is president of Klebanoff Associates, Inc.

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Why is it that sales of some high-tech companies rocket into the stratosphere, while the sales of other companies with equally promising products barely get off the ground and eventually fail? This book provides some of the answers.

Rather than a straight, unbroken line, Moore argues that the road from start-up to high-tech superstardom is a discontinuous journey. He argues that there are gaps as you move up the product life cycle to sell to:

  • innovators,
  • early adopters,
  • early majority,
  • late majority, and finally,
  • laggards.
Furthermore, the biggest gap -- the chasm -- is between the early adopters and early majority.

The book looks at appropriate marketing strategies for addressing each segment and for leaping over the gaps. As the title suggests, it dedicates the greatest ink to a discussion of the chasm and how to cross it.

Why the focus on the chasm? Because on one side are the companies with clever products but failed sales and on the other are the highly profitable industry giants.

Every company with a new high tech product must attract the innovators and early adopters. They are the enthusiasts willing and anxious to be on the "bleeding edge." If they get excited about your product they can be your greatest -- unpaid -- sales people.

The innovators and early adopters, however, represent only a small portion of the market and are typically costly to serve. To achieve industry segment dominance and high levels of profitability, you must find a way of moving from success with them to success in the mainstream market. This book maps out a plan to do that.

The book is filled both real and hypothetical examples that bring its theories to life. If you're a high tech marketer, it's worth a read.