“Crossing the Chasm“
by Geoffrey A Moore.
I wrote this post a long long time ago, and was shocked that it wasn’t posted yet. This book is so fundamental to how I view technology, and the foundation of some of the blog posts about Minecraft. In retrospect this should have been posted first to give you a chance to read it before jumping into a discussion of ‘the technology innovation curve’.
This book is key to understanding a significant business problem faced by almost every company. Start ups feel this effect especially hard, but large companies have the same problems even when launching new product lines. The book defines “The Chasm”, a period of time which every new technology must pass through in order to succeed. Therefore every new company must pass through this phase to be profitable and successful. Without preparing ahead of time a start-up faces the risk of running out out of money.
This book informs so much of my thinking on technology, disruption and innovation that to pay attention to what I’m talking about much of the time, you need to read this. It was assigned reading for BU, and the information presented cropped up time and time again in class. Businesses from Eli Lilly to Color Kinetics to E Ink have faced the issues in this book. Some companies have faced these issues and succeeded, but many more have fallen.
Will you launch into profitability or fall into “The Chasm”? If you have a new company or are about to start one, read this before finding out the hard way. The link is to the edition that I own, kindle version available as well.