A Fantastic Book about the “gap of death”
Skip from the early adopters market to the early majority market is frequently the most difficult time for a new product.
Too often, a company that succeeds its first sales uses the resulting statistics to validate its business model. In other words: a simple extrapolation is deduced to predict the response of the mass market.
In fact, the first clients (early adopters) follow totally different rules from a more massive market (early majority). This phenomenon is called: “Crossing the chasm”.
Geoffrey A. Moore analyzes in his book the functioning differences of those two target markets that aren’t still well known:
The early adopters give little value to the experience of others and want a new product that gives them a technological advantage. On the other hand, members of the early majority want products that have already been used for their industry. The mere fact that the early adopters have tested it before is not enough, and the “futuristic” idea is good for conferences. If the goal of the mass market is to sell a product, the goal of the early market is to sell a vision. As we can imagine it, these distinctions between the two groups are profoundly changing the marketing approach to take.
This book dates from 2002, but stays very current until today. Well written, it is ideal for anyone who wants to launch a new product or who must accompany a marketing process.