CTech’s Book Review: The bible for early-stage entrepreneurs

Ran Ribenzaft is co-founder and CTO at Epsagon (acquired by Cisco), which simplifies the development of modern cloud applications. He has joined CTech to share a review of Crossing the Gap by Geoffrey Moore.

Title: “Crossing the Gap”
the writer: Geoffrey Moore
Format: Book
Where: Main Page

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Ron Ribenzeft, co-founder and CTO at Epsagon

(Photo: Epsagon)

Bible to bring products to big markets.

In Crossing the Gap, Jeffrey A. Moore introduces the concept of the Technology Acceptance Life Cycle (TALC). This includes innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards as segments to penetrate step by step.

Jeffrey states that the challenge for innovators and marketers is to bridge this gap to ultimately accelerate product adoption. This book shares dozens of examples of failures and successes.

Sector gap: According to Moore, there is a “gap”—a gap—between the initial market that startups are trying to conquer in the early days and the mainstream market. Innovative products often flourish in the initial market and then stagnate and die in an attempt to reach the mainstream.

Going from Early Market to Mainstream: To win the early market, attract stakeholders with a strong technology advantage that translates into product credibility. Persuasive skeptical pragmatists build the core market through market leadership. One way to cross the gap and become part of the mainstream market is to focus on a niche market. If you focus on a specific market, you are more likely to win and dominate it. Once you have this foundation, you can use it as a foundation for further expansion.

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Position your product, company and brand: Positioning refers to where potential customers place your product in the market landscape or how they see it compared to competitors. The early majority will position your product based on its reputation and market share. Hence, upon entering the mainstream market, your product’s position depends significantly on its reputation with key influencers and perceived competition.

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As a founder, I mainly learned that at every stage of startup and product, the target market is different and the expectations are completely different. Reaching the first 12 early adopters requires advanced technology, innovative product, and relatively simple positioning and messaging.

Winning the mass market is a problem that is 100 times more difficult because it requires very good messaging and positioning. People need to understand what you do and how it is different or unique compared to the competition.

A good tactic for building a good product is to focus on a specific market. A niche market does not necessarily mean small. A focused market helps your product target and solve the personas and problems your product solves.

Once you achieve product-market fit in a particular market, efficient growth becomes much more manageable. While crossing the big gap is probably the most challenging part any company faces, it becomes much easier when the right foundation is laid.

Undoubtedly, things have changed dramatically since Moore first wrote Crossing the Gap. The rate of introduction of new technologies has probably increased greatly since the book was first published, with businesses focusing on the accessibility and mainstreaming of technology products. However, Crossing the Gap contains many points that I believe are almost timeless.

Finally, as Moore says: “Crossing the gap is not the end, but the beginning of mainstream market development.” So this book teaches me the basics of building a great company.

The book is very useful and full of great insights. While this isn’t a “fun” book, it’s more of a “how to” guide, and it’s very useful for anyone who wants to sell technology.

Despite the flaws, the company of Geoffrey A. Moore is delightful in his journey through technology. For me, it was a road trip that got me to where I am today.

Who should read this book?

In my opinion, this is the bible for every early stage entrepreneur and tech lover. However, this book can also be suitable for any product, marketing or technical person as the concept applies many aspects of strategic thinking to building and shipping products.


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