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Eat or Be Eaten

Over the past couple of decades, The Chasm model has been the centrepiece of nearly every conversation I’ve had about launching new technology. 

While its merits are many, lately I’ve been wondering how applicable it is in business-to-business markets. Sure there are early adopters. Perhaps even an early majority. Its the late majority that seems to be in trouble. 

Having sat around harvesting revenue from their customer base the late majority one-day wake-up to face a revenue precipice. In short, the early adopters and majority reach a tipping point and start acquiring their customer base en-masse. Powered by the economics of the cloud (not just technology but also business) these new players scale at speed – achieving continuous growth rates in the high double and even triple digits.

We see a couple of shifts driving the acceleration of the new players. For instance, Cloud technology and business models on the supply side, and then mobile on the demand side. Entrepreneurs emerge from both sides presenting the late majority with an impossible force to counter – and their brand advantage and customer relationships are quickly weakened.

The message is clear. Rather than wait for the late majority, fuel the high-growth early adopters and watch them grow. Who would you rather be backing – or be – the eater or the eaten.


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