July 15, 2018

Crossing the Chasm - A Quick Book Review

A review from an engineer

I recently read Crossing the Chasm, by Geoffrey A. Moore so I wanted to provide a quick summary of my thoughts as seen from an engineer’s perspective.

The quick summary is: this ia a good book for anyone looking to take a product from the early adopter and enthusiast stages in to something that you can sell to the pragmatist market (which is where you’re really looking to grow).

This book is definitely targeted at marketing, product, and management more so than it is at engineering. However, I do think that there are some key learnings engineers can take away from it:

First and foremost, to get the early majority to adopt your product you end up with a ‘which came first’ type of problem. Early on, visionaries and early adopters are willing to deal with the pain of a product that might not work all of the time in order to get a leg up on the competition. However, early majority customers will have some expectation of stability, support, and quality. In short, you need to have a good image and reputation. However, how can you build a reputation without a groundswell of customers?

From an engineering standpoint, this will force you to adjust priorities on which tasks are most important to accomplish. New features, which most engineers prefer to work on, typically have to be set at a lower priority. You may need to focus on internal tools and processes to enable automated testing and deployment of software.

That alone won’t get you across the chasm though. This is where the book really crosses over in to more of a market / product focus in showing how finding a niche area and leading that area can get you across. That said, it is always key to make sure that your engineering staff understands why “external” decisions were made, and how it is going to provide growth for the project later.

All-in-all, if this book interests you from any perspective (even engineering) I would definitely say it is worth the read.

If you’d like a more ‘in-depth’ summary without reading the book, feel free to check out its summary on Four Minute Reads.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book you can do you at this link. By purchasing through this link you provide me with compensation which helps keep my site running.

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