Crossing the Chasm – does it require A Bridge Too Far

I am grateful to @garyturner for drawing my attention to an article in Wikipedia on Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers a marketing book by Geoffrey A. Moore that focuses on the specifics of marketing high tech products during the early start up period.

In Crossing the Chasm, Moore begins with the diffusion of innovations theory from Everett Rogers, and argues there is a chasm between the early adopters of the product (the technology enthusiasts and visionaries) and the early majority (the pragmatists). Moore believes visionaries and pragmatists have very different expectations, and he attempts to explore those differences and suggest techniques to successfully cross the “chasm,” including choosing a target market, understanding the whole product concept, positioning the product, building a marketing strategy, choosing the most appropriate distribution channel and pricing.

It can best be illustrated by the following “bell curve”:

The relevance to the Cloud Computing debate is striking and the definitions of the innovators and early adopters etc are spot on. Looking back at my experiences when Easycounting was first introduced and the ongoing issues rolling out E-conomic in my own organisation only goes to emphasise the point.

In the wider world the debate goes on as regards Cloud Computing and whether or not the “Chasm” has been crossed. I would say that within the Accountancy profession as a whole it has not – we are still in the innovator stage.

However, for the users, I think it may have been – and this is where we reach an interesting dichotomy and return to a point I have raised many times before – I believe that the progress in Cloud Computing is going to be led by the client and the accountants that don’t follow will -in time – loose out.

I have an interesting situation in my own practice where we are currently quoting for a new client who already uses E-conomic- his accountant hasn’t caught up with him.

So have we crossed the Chasm – for some of us maybe – for others it might just require a Bridge Too Far.