PerfectBound ™ and the PerfectBound™ logo are trademarks of HarperCollins Publishers. Adobe Acrobat E-Book Reader edition v 1. October 2001
The original hardcover edition of this book was published in 1991 by HarperBusiness, a division of HarperCollins Publishers.
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PREFACE TO THE REVISED EDITION
Discovering the Chasm
If Bill Gates Can Be a Billionaire
1 High-Tech Marketing Illusion
2 High-Tech Marketing Enlightenment
Crossing the Chasm
The D-Day Analogy
Target the Point of Attack
Assemble the Invasion Force
Define the Battle
Launch the Invasion
Getting Beyond the Chasm
About the Author
About the Publisher
Preface to the Revised Edition
“Obiwan Kenobi,” says Sir Alec Guinness in the original Star Wars movie— “Now there’s a name I haven’t heard for a long, long time.” The same might well be said of a number of the companies that served as examples in the original edition of Crossing the Chasm. Reading through its index brings to mind the medieval lament, “Where are the snows of yesteryear?” Where indeed are Aldus, Apollo, Ashton-Tate, Ask, Burroughs, Businessland, and the Byte Shop? Where are Wang, Weitek, and Zilog? “Oh lost and by the wind-grieved ghosts, come back again!”
But we should not despair. In high tech, the good news is that, although we lose our companies with alarming frequency, we keep the people along with the ideas, and so the industry as a whole goes forward vibrantly, even as the names on our paychecks slide into another seamlessly (OK, as seamlessly as our systems interoperate, which as marketing claims is… well that’s another matter). Crossing the Chasm was written in 1990 and published in 1991. Originally forecast to sell 5,000 copies, it has over a seven year period in the market sold more than 175,000. In high-tech marketing, we call this an “upside miss.” The appeal of the book, I believe, is that it puts a vocabulary to a market development problem that has given untold grief to any number of high-tech enterprises. Seeing the problem externalized in print has a sort of redemptive effect on people who have fallen prey to it in the past—it wasn’t all my fault! Moreover, like a good book on golf, its prescriptions give great hope that just by making this or that minor adjustment perfect results are bound to follow— this time we’ll make it work! And so any number of people cheerfully have told me that the book has become the Bible in their company. So much for the spiritual health of our generation.
In editing this revised edition, I have tried to touch as little as possible the logic of the original. This is harder than you might think because over the past decade my views have changed (all right, I’ve become older), and I have an inveterate tendency to meddle, as any number of my clients and colleagues will testify. The problem is, when you meddle, you get in deeper and deeper until God knows what you have, but it wasn’t what you started with. I have plenty enough opportunity to do that with future books, and I have enough respect for this one to try to stand off a bit.
That being said, I did make a few significant exceptions. I eliminated the...