More than 25 years ago Geoffrey Moore published his masterpiece “Crossing the Chasm.” In his book, Geoffrey makes a compelling argument that, as products mature and as they address different audiences, we find ourselves with a huge gap (the chasm) between early adopters and early majority.
I use the model regularly in my talks as I believe this insight is more important today than it was in 1991 when the book was first published. The chasm is where most (tech) startups die. A lot of companies are good at selling their product or service to people who are like them (the early adaptors) but never find the proper market fit for a more mainstream audience (the early majority).
The reason why I believe Geoffrey’s model is so important is that with the accelerating rate of change and technological progress we are faced with many compressed timelines — products get introduced into markets much quicker and have much shorter periods of time to mature and leap from curiosity to mainstream (or fall into the chasm).
Sometimes bridging this gap means educating your customer about your newfangled gadget, sometimes it means designing around the challenge. What you have to do always though, is to figure out if your product faces a chasm and where that chasm is.