There are really two, fundamentally separate phases in the development of any high-tech or new product market: an early phase that builds from a few, highly visible, visionary customers; and a mainstream phase, where the buying decisions fall predominantly to pragmatists.
Transitioning between these two phases is anything but smooth, and confidently assuming that success in the early market will translate into mainstream success is the fatal error that causes so many high-flying start-ups to crash into the chasm.
TRANSITION BETWEEN MARKET STAGES
The transition, he notes, is always perilous: typically, the new venture commits significant resources to modifications promised to secure its initial base of early market customers. The venture requires continued growth to support these commitments, growth into the lucrative mainstream markets. But these markets require a very different approach from that of the early visionaries; and if a company does not attack them properly, it will quickly fall short of projections and find itself in trouble. Moore's book presents specific strategies in marketing and all other areas of the business to help technology companies cross this critical chasm successfully.
Crossing the Chasm: How to Win Mainstream Markets for Technology Products Geoffrey Moore