[Read the entire chapter by chapter review of Crossing the Chasm.]
Pages 105 – 128; Screens and Locations (in Kindle) 1471 – 1726
Moore spends nearly 30 pages hammering home some important points:
- A beachhead must be identified, and winning it must be the focus.
- There will not be enough information for everyone to be satisfied.
- The beachhead – and the markets behind it – are won with The Whole Product concept.
“If you don’t know where you are going, you probably aren’t going to get there.” Chapter 4, Location 1471
If you don’t know what you’re doing – do not do it harder.
“But you cannot expect to transform a low-data situation into a high-data situation quickly.” Chapter 4, Location 1516
Yes, more data can always be found – but will it lead to a better decision? Is the time spent uncovering better data worth the opportunity cost?
“Since, however, investment and time are two of your scarcest resources, cheaper and sooner are very desirable attributes in a target market scenario.” Chapter 4, Location 1653
If you can prove your product functions fast and cheap then this is always the preferred path. This is one of Ries’s main points in The Lean Startup.
“This means you can focus all your attention on the whole product, which is where it needs to be. Nail that and you win.” Chapter 4, Location 1683
Moore is being prescriptive – so listen closely – you must win the beachhead and the beachhead is won with the whole product.
“The enemy in the chasm is always time.” Chapter 4, Location 1688
Even the largest, oldest, wealthiest organizations don’t have infinite patience. “Beyond three years might as well be infinity…” I’d read a study that showed most purchasing / technical / front end engineers at customers were in their roles for an average of three years. (Typing this out, it feels like it is from Ries.) Which means that if you can’t win in 1.5 years, you should assume you’ll have to start over with a new buyer.
Just because your organization has patience does not mean that your customer will. And even if your customer does have patience – will the other product competing for their attention be so slow to demonstrate urgency? Move with speed and purpose.
Page by Page
“If you don’t know where you are going, you probably aren’t going to get there.”
“Rather, they suffer from a built-in hesitancy and lack of confidence related to the paralyzing effects of having to make a high-risk, low data decision.”
“In sum, there’s a lot riding on this kind of decision, and severe punishment for making it badly.”
“The market we will enter, by definition, will not have experienced our type of product before.”
“But it is absolute folly to use such numbers for developing crossing-the-chasm marketing strategies.”
“That’s when you hear them saying things like, “It will be a billion-dollar market in 1995. If we only get 5 percent of that market… When you hear that sort of stuff, exit gracefully, holding on to your wallet.””
“They know the numbers do not provide the answers they need.”
Moore is using more of the Carnegie type persuasion writing – showing why things are good, why the alternatives are bad, and how following his guidance gets the reader what they want.
“But you cannot expect to transform a low-data situation into a high-data situation quickly.”
“Only work with memorable images.”
Characterizations – visionary’s, pragmatist, early adopter, etc.
“However, since we do not have real live customers as yet, we are just going to have to make them up.”
Electronic Books – An Example
Reading Chasm on a Kindle this time – it is amazing how often the eBook is brought up and how write his forecasts were.
“In consumer scenarios, the three roles of user, technical buyer, and economic buyer tend to merge into one or two.”
“It is extremely difficult to cross the chasm in consumer market.”
A day in the life – Before and After
“This is not a formal segmentation survey—they take too long, and their output is too dry.”
Market Development Strategy Checklist
- Target customer
- Compelling reason to buy
- Whole product
- Partners and allies
- Next target customer
Must pass the first four to be eligible as a beachhead. Then rank along the last 5 to identify #1.
“Can’t we go after more than one target? The simple answer is no.”
“A very low score, relative to the others, in any of these factors almost always is a show-stopper.”
“Since, however, investment and time are two of your scarcest resources, cheaper and sooner are very desirable attributes in a target market scenario.”
“This is a white-water rafting strategy, where hesitating on a split decision is the one behavior guaranteed to capsize the boat.”
Vs the Aircraft Carrier
“This means you can focus all your attention on the whole product, which is where it needs to be. Nail that and you win.”
“The enemy in the chasm is always time.”
“So the rule of thumb in crossing the chasm is simple: Pick on somebody your own size.”
Recap: The Target Market Selection Process
7 step process to make decisions