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Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  20,894 ratings  ·  506 reviews
Here is the bestselling guide that created a new game plan for marketing in high-tech industries. Crossing the Chasm has become the bible for bringing cutting-edge products to progressively larger markets. This edition provides new insights into the realities of high-tech marketing, with special emphasis on the Internet. It's essential reading for anyone with a stake in th ...more
Paperback, 211 pages
Published July 25th 2006 by HarperBusiness (first published November 1991)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  20,894 ratings  ·  506 reviews

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Jeff Kinsey
Mar 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
In 2003 I reached a simple conclusion: I knew nothing about Marketing. Having created a Marketing company during college (after owning several businesses and spending more than a year selling advertising for a newspaper) with paying customers and everything!

So, I immersed myself in learning everything possible about Marketing in the context of small privately held firms. After seven years, I can honestly say that I now know nothing about Marketing... except that I know more than 99%
Charles Ames
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. This book lays out the mechanics of formulating and evolving a marketing strategy by exploring an extreme boundary case: introducing a fundamentally new product to the marketplace. The principles are relevant to all businesses everywhere. However, it would be wrong to view this book as a simple roadmap, because it is very hard to know where on the map you're starting. Do you really have something that will be regarded as a "disruptively innovative pro ...more
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to WhatIReallyRead by: a teacher at Digital Product Marketing class
It was to the point, usable, concise and competent. Exactly what I would want in a book I'm reading for work. It's a rather short book, but still it took me over half a year to finish!

It was pretty good:

- a well-articulated model describing high-tech marketing on various stages of its adoption life cycle;
- clear implications of adopting such a model were presented and well-organized;
- the author gave examples of real-world products and how the model applies to them;
Will Chou
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
Lots and lots of opinions, directions, and instructions with very few reasons and evidence (let alone science) to back it up. The stories and anecdotes that are mentioned to back up points are cherry picked. Research on the credibility, track record, and net worth of the author only made my skepticism increase.
I cant say his directions are wrong. But I wasn't convinced they were right.
I'm sure many other people have failed to even consider these components before rushing to implement on his ad
Milhouse Van Houten
Feb 16, 2016 rated it liked it
good one..
must read!!

Read and enjoy:)
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For a reason, this book should be labeled as a textbook, not like a free-time one. It took months to finish it and yet I believe I need to recap, revise and find other summaries for it.

Although I got the 1997 edition, it is yet relevant to the high tech industry nowadays. Yet, found it hard to get the examples of the 90s companies that are no giants, or even exists, now.
Maurício Linhares
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So, product development!

I wasn't really sure if this was going to be for me (and the latest edition is form 1998, so, it might have been a bit dated) but this was actually a great surprise. The idea of the chasms when marketing products, specially in tech, really resonates with what happens in the market and we can compile a huge list of companies and products that have died somewhere along the way while trying to cross one of the chasms to become a mainstream product.

Vlad Ardelean
I didn't know much about marketing, so this gets 5 stars

The book adressed a lot of issues relevant to my current company directly.

First of all, the chasm model applies in B2B scenarios. This is not a b2c marketing book even if some ideas do apply.

What I found interesting was that this book provides this model describing 5 different types of customers. Then we find ways in which to address these customers, the proper timings, the proper sales pitches, the product prici
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book gives a fresh and powerful set of tools to help navigate the stages of product life, as well as covering honestly some of the hard decisions that must be made. A great book for those interested in making their technology sustainable and more than just a passing fad.

These are among the dozens of passages of greatest interest and value to me:

Page 8 Most important lesson of crossing the chasm
Page 25 discovering the chasm
Page 39 last paragraph, what technolog
Beam Pattadon
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
[Summary] Successfully getting lead users is different from successfully entering mainstream market.

Traditional technological product adoption cycle has a huge flaw on its premise. It assumes that the adoption of the product will automatically diffuse from early users (technologist and visionary users) to followers (early majority, late majority, and laggard). In fact, we should concern about the different set of paradigm in which we use to attract and communicate with both group. Early users w
Jun 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
I began this book exploring a product to launch and finished it working in the business services industry. This juxtaposition helped me make sense of Moore's analysis and see its limitations.

For high-tech, or most new products, Moore is spot on. There is an adoption curve and the key challenge for success in these kinds of ventures is moving from early adopters to the mainstream. His strategy (summed as 'focus') is the way to conquer this challenge.

For services, I'm not a
Neelesh Marik
Aug 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is certainly one of the most insightful business books i have ever read. It is of biblical importance to anyone in the technology business, especially operating in a B2B scenario.

Apart from a cogent theoretical framework, it provides high practical, and actionable advice on how to move from one segment to the next in a technology adoption life cycle. It has certainly shown me the wrong assumptions we have made in our own business, and why.

Dmytro Shteflyuk
I have never stopped to think about how a company gets from an early product into the mainstream, even tho I have been working in tech for ages. Have experienced the chasm so many times, but this is the first time I hear the word itself and had no clue that this is a normal growth process, and there is a logical explanation for what is happening. There are too many eye-opening ideas, including (but not limited to) product lifetime stages, target audiences segmentation, tips on how to cross the c ...more
Feb 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Every MBA that I know has since told me that this is a classic, and I can see why. I never knew where the concept of early adopters and the technology adoption life cycle came from. The book is well written, has a compelling concept -- the "chasm" that must be crossed from visionaries and innovators to mainstream use in tech companies and that this crossing requires completely different techniques and types of people -- and is SHORT. I love short business books.

Thanks to Will, my scu
May 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
It's a classic... and the point it makes is solid (more or less, that the skills needed to make an innovative product for early adopters are very different from those to make a mass market whole product).

That said it's very dated, and most of the advice pertains to large products. The paradigm it establishes has no room for crowdfunding, or for companies like 37signals that don't hardsell anyone. It's a very sales-driven viewpoint on things for a corporate world that's very focused o
Carl Rannaberg
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very good book about transitioning between marketing and selling from early-adopters to mainstream customers. This transition is called chasm as it doesn’t happen smoothly. There need to be fundamental changes how the company markets and sells it’s product. Mainstream customers need other mainstream customers to recommend your product. That’s right there is the chasm. The solution is to solve niche issues and then expand as you have references from mainstream customers. For example you have do ...more
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think this a great fundamentals book for any technologist or product manager (not mutually exclusive) to read. There are some really evergreen pointers on developing markets, product positioning and more. It's clear that a lot of product strategy books drew inspiration from Crossing the Chasm. One drawback is that there are some outdated references and examples, but most are still relevant.
Jacob Wighton
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I picked this up thinking it was a mountaineering book, based on the title. Turns out it’s actually about marketing high-tech products in a B2B context.

I thought this was really well written. I’ve had it recommended by a number of lecturers and I can see why. The main idea is that breaking into mainstream markets is best achieved by first narrowing the firm’s focus to a specific segment where the product can be established as the clear leader.

Although the subject matter g
Vagelis Kotsonis
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
Maybe the most useful book an entrepreneur can read. It is a must read for anyone that is in the business of developing and selling products.

The thing I really loved about this book is its structure. Every chapter has specific goals and in the end of each chapter a checklist with actions to do makes it a handbook for success in what you do!

It is not the kind of book you read once, but the book that you go back every time you want to rethink strategic development of your c
Pedro Henriques
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible-playlist
Most of the concepts have now been ingrained into anyone working in business development. Still a good read as a practical guide to anymore bringing a product to the mainstream market after early success. Not a relevant book to the general public.
Most important ideas will probably be 'owning the niche' early on and the need to adapt the org and sales strategy as the technology adoption lifecycle progresses.
Hung Nguyen
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Essential reading for any B2B entrepreneur. Moore's principles for "crossing the chasm," - the critical period between marketing to early adopters and more pragmatic buyers - are extremely compelling and practical. I found the examples and case studies relatable and useful, and will revisit again and again. Plus, my old company Visible Measures got a great shoutout in it.
Sep 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This is the first marketing book I've read, so I don't have much to compare it with, but to be completely honest, this book was a drag to read. At the very least, I learned about the chasm that exists between the early market and the mainstream market, and I learned Geoffrey Moore's strategy for getting technology companies across that chasm as quickly as possible.
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended marketing strategy book. I think it holds up extremely well, if not being more applicable than ever with more and more companies and businesses effectively being hight tech businesses.

The authors examples and insights have since mostly been proven. Also very impressive.

If this doesn't inspire thinking about your marketing strategy and efforts I don't know what will.
Paweł Górski
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best marketing books I’ve read. If I have to pick a single thing I’ve learnt, that’s probably about the importance of finding and winning a single market segment and focus all resources on that goal in order to pave the way to the mainstream market.
Alexander Kelley
I wish I had read this one earlier.
John Balla
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sound advice

Let's just say I took copious notes. I'm also writing an abstract to share with my team. Should be required reading for any tech startup.
Hauke Wesselmann
May 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
If you like to think of business as a battelefield, this book may be for you. Two stars because the first 80 pages are ok.
Ash Moran
Dec 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This completely changed my understanding about marketing.

The principle is that the buying needs of technical visionaries and the early mainstream markets are different. The former are prepared to take risks with innovative technology in the search for breakthrough improvements; the latter expect an established, whole product proven in use by people they can reference. The "chasm" is the Catch-22 situation of needing an existing mainstream customer base before mainstream customers wil
Dan W
Mar 13, 2012 rated it liked it
An oldie but a goodie. This manual in the pains of starting a new business. My favorite passage, which I believe is the intro, is where the author describes his glee to be on the other side of start-up life with real money in the bank, and how knowing what he knows now he would never want to do it again. But, from the safety of his new home he's willing to share some actual lessons from his start up life in the fitful infancy of the internet industry.

That said, there are interspersed
Yash Savani
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Less than 20 years ago, shorter than many of your lifetimes, nobody had heard of Google or Facebook. Few dreamed of where Apple, Microsoft or Amazon would be today. Today, these are some of the biggest names of the tech industry, in fact, they are some of the biggest names in any industry. How have these companies grown with such an expedited rate? How in the span of a teenagers life can Facebook have captured a market of over 1.9 billion people? While Crossing the Chasm is a book dedicated to B ...more
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Geoffrey Moore is an author, speaker, and advisor who splits his consulting time between start-up companies in the Mohr Davidow portfolio and established high-tech enterprises, most recently including Salesforce, Microsoft, Intel, Box, Aruba, Cognizant, and Rackspace.

Moore’s life’s work has focused on the market dynamics surrounding disruptive innovations. His first book, Crossing the
“The number-one corporate objective, when crossing the chasm, is to secure a distribution channel into the mainstream market, one with which the pragmatist customer will be comfortable. This objective comes before revenues, before profits, before press, even before customer satisfaction. All these other factors can be fixed later - but only if the channel is established.” 3 likes
“there is something fundamentally different between a sale to an early adopter and a sale to the early majority, even” 3 likes
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