October 3, 2023
Hexavia Business Club
Book Review Business Career


A high-tech product lunch may be tricky, and failure results in wasting time and money. Businesses are particularly at risk when attempting to cross the chasm between a small minority of early adopters and the vast majority of mainstream customers. Geoffrey Moore provides decision-making recommendations for investors, engineers, marketers, and managers in the high-tech world in this book, along with tried-and-true frameworks and tactics for effectively bringing new, cutting-edge goods to market.

Crossing the Chasm (1991) examines the market dynamics that innovative new goods must navigate, notably the intimidating chasm between early to mainstream markets.

The book gives practical guidance on handling this challenging shift and presents instances of businesses that have struggled in the chasm.


Geoffrey A. Moore is a writer, consultant, and business associate. A few of his other best-sellers include Inside the Tornado, The Gorilla Game, and Living on the Fault Line.

Crossing the Chasm is inspired by the author’s experience as a high technology consultant in Silicon Valley. Initially, the book’s author and publisher believed it would only appeal to a small, specialized audience and would likely only sell 5,000 copies. Over 300,000 copies of it were sold, making it a runaway success.





The point of greatest peril in the growth of a high-tech market lies in the move from an early market controlled by a small number of visionary consumers to a mainstream market dominated by a sizable block of customers who are primary pragmatists in orientation. Since it has previously been ignored, the divide between these two markets is essential to qualify as a chasm, and crossing this chasm must be the main focus of any long-term high-tech marketing plan. Successful crossings make high-tech riches; unsuccessful attempts make them lose


Adoption and Marketing of High-Tech Products

The Technology Adoption Life Cycle

The Technology Adoption Life Cycle explains how new goods are embraced. Technology adoption often follows a bell curve, with 5 major consumer groups distinguished by their psychographic characteristics and attitudes toward emerging technologies:

  • Innovators (Tech enthusiasts): are passionate about cutting-edge technologies. They actively seek and investigate the newest technologies to understand more about them. Despite being a small minority, their support gives technological credibility.
  • Early Adopters (Visionaries): embrace new technology to realize a larger vision and effectively outline the potential advantages to others. John F. Kennedy fought for the start of the American space program. At the same time, Henry Ford fought for the mass manufacturing of cars.
  • The early majority (pragmatists) are more cautious and practical. They only accept convenient, well-established technologies.
  • The late majority (conservatives) find modern technology unsettling. They won’t use it until majority of others have done so, merely to avoid falling behind.
  • Laggards (skeptics) are averse to using new technologies and may only do so unintentionally.


Businesses are particularly at risk during the chasm period. The mainstream market is not prepared for the new technology and the early market is still processing it. A mainstream market is likewise challenging to get into since the existing players will fight to keep you out.

The secret to bridging the gap is to concentrate solely on one strategic market segment at first. Establish a strong foundation as soon as possible (with references, processes, and marketing materials) and use it to expand into neighboring markets. Moore breaks down ways to cross the chasm successfully and they include:

  1. Pick a Beachhead

There’s an illustration Moore uses several times in the book…

Storming the beaches on D-Day:

You must concentrate your efforts on a tiny, well-defined portion of the Early Majority to effectively cross the chasm, much as the Allies did when they focused their troops on the beaches of France to start retaking Europe.

So how does one choose a beachhead? Whom are you aiming for?

Start by locating the segment in the most pain. Usually, mainstream clients request case studies before making a purchase. But, if you discover a group that has a difficult issue, they are desperate to solve, they won’t be interested in case studies. They won’t be as concerned about your identity. All they want is for the anguish to stop.

Moore then provides you with several suggestions that you can utilize to better define your target audience.

Alignment: choose the section that most aligns with your strengths.

Budget: Go after the existing budget. If you have to persuade a group to invest money in this issue, find another possible beachhead.

Size: The opportunity should be significant to you yet small enough to be overlooked by more established rivals.

After you’ve chosen your beachhead, exclusively concentrate on them.

The Allies attacked the beaches head-on, you must follow suit.

This is so you may increase the number of consumers who can serve as references and provide you with testimonials. You will then have the drive to move into adjacent segments.

  1. Dominate with Whole Product Thinking

The goal here is to control the beachhead you have selected. Expand your “product” to address the needs of your sector more effectively.

When you see the phrase “product” most of you see a type of technology, such as an app or piece of software.

Yet, you must enlarge your concept of “product” if you want to cross the chasm.

To cross the chasm, you must provide the Whole Product: not just the technology itself but also the full user experience.

The iPod launch by Steve Jobs demonstrates his mastery of the Whole Product concept.

With Whole Product Thinking, Apple took MP3 players, which at that time were previously only popular among early adopters of technology, into the mainstream.

The key here is to think about the results your beachhead wishes to achieve, and then add technologies to achieve those results as needed (support, consulting services, additional features, etc.). That’s the Whole Product Thinking.

  1. Compare and Contrast

Ensuring your messaging is clear enough for your beachhead to grasp is a crucial component of Crossing the Chasm.

You’re aiming for more conservative, unattractive individuals. Your pitch must be concise. They have reputations to uphold and people they must answer to. People must believe you are a safe option.

You can be a safe option by making it simple for them to compare and contrast you with other possibilities they are familiar with.

This assists mainstream consumers whose budget dollars you are aiming for. Keep in mind that mainstream purchasers are unlikely to be familiar with you, or if they are, they may not fully understand what you do.

Box did a wonderful job by contrasting itself with Dropbox (B2C ease of use) and SharePoint (business features).

You significantly increase your likelihood of closing transactions on your beachhead by positioning yourself in the vicinity of concepts and ideas that people can relate to.

Recap: A 4-point summary of Crossing the Chasm:

Are you experiencing stunted growth?

  • Re-evaluate how you approach the market.
  • Select a beachhead and build momentum.
  • Give the Whole Product and be the best at solving the pain.
  • Compare and contrast with current options.


Book Review Written by an Hexavian

Eizu Uwaoma
Eizu Uwaoma







Eizu, ©Hexavia!

Strategy. Business StartUps and Corporate Restructuring Consulting

T: 08035202891

Uwaoma Eizu is the lead strategist at Hexavia! He is a graduate of Mathematics with two MBAs and over a decade of experience working with startups and big businesses. His core is in building startups and in corporate restructuring. He is also a certified member of the Nigerian Institute of Management, Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria and the Project Management Institute, USA. By the side, he writes weekly for the BusinessDay newspaper.

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