Amy Gilchrist Thorne's Reviews > Crossing the Chasm

Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore
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's review
Dec 05, 2010

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bookshelves: tech, own, nonfiction
Read in December, 2010

After hearing this book mentioned in Professional Software Development by Steve McConnell and by Jeffrey Fredrick at a recent Continuous Integration and Testing Conference, I finally got around to reading it myself.

Both McConnell and Fredrick referred to the book as helping describe why it's difficult to introduce change into a technology organisation.

Fredrick's summary was particularly useful, explaining that beyond people who get interested in change just for the sake of it or the visionary rewards they might foresee from it, probably a large part of a large organisation is only interested in a change if it either (1) will likely solve some problem that is causing the decision-makers of the organisation real pain or (2) is so widely adopted in the industry that the decision-makers fear if they don't adopt the change, they will be left behind.

So, that's the frame of reference from which I read this book—looking for ways to convince an organisation from the inside that it should adopt particular changes.

I think the book works on that level—it definitely covered the ground I wanted it to cover—but you need to frequently remind yourself to keep your interests in mind, because the terms the author uses are very focused on marketing to external clients.

Even keeping this in mind, some parts, such as the discussion of distribution channels, didn't transfer well at all, but were still very interesting, if not immediately useful to me, since I'm not a marketer, I'm a software developer. Plus, as a developer who has witnessed attempted "pioneer-to-settler" transitions, the last chapter about how the chasm affects not only marketing but the entire high-tech enterprise rang especially true.

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