PartnerHacker Weekend 10/22: Crossing the Chasm

A quick recap of the PhD from this week:

Recently published:


Who will you cross the chasm with?

Jared and I were talking to Jo Wright the other day for an episode of PartnerUp, and he made a really interesting point about how companies go from early adopters to mainstream.

This process - famously called Crossing the Chasm in a book by the same title - is tricky.

If you change your messaging to appeal to the mass market you're trying to break into, you risk losing your early adopters before you've had time to gain new ones. You risk losing trust, creating enemies, and failing.

If you never change your messaging, you risk never growing beyond the early adopter market of a small but loyal band of rabid fans.

How do you cross that chasm?

With partners.

The voices that are best suited to deliver the message to the mainstream market aren't inside your company.

They come from your network of early adopters and early partners. Members of that tight-knit ecosystem that have themselves crossed the chasm - built or taken a job at a mass market company, or know someone who has - are best suited to lead you across it.

They already have credibility in the mass market. And they come from the early adopters, so they have credibility there. They are the bridge.

When you come to a chasm, it's much easier to find a bridge than to try to build one.

Look within your ecosystem. Find those individuals and companies who have already crossed the chasm. See how you can partner with them so they can lead you over.

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