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Evil EntreKnievel This side of the chasm: a few geeky clients. The other side: everybody. Ready to jump?

By Geoff Williams

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

They call him the Chasm Guy, because he can leap over one in asingle bound. But the chasm that mild-mannered Geoff Mooretraverses is on the edge of the technology world. If you own ahigh-tech firm and want to market to low-tech people, you'llwant to see more of Moore, the founder of The Chasm Group, aconsulting firm in San Mateo, California. He's also a venturepartner at Mohr, Davidow Ventures in Menlo Park, California, andthe author of books like-what else?-Crossing the Chasm (HarperBusiness).

Explain what this chasm is, and whyentrepreneurs should care.

Geoff Moore:"Chasm" comes from the technology-adoption/life-cyclemodel. The early adopters, whom we call the technology enthusiastsand visionaries, love to buy something before anybody else does.They're before the chasm. The next adoption strategy ispragmatism-which says, "I want to buy when I see everybodyelse doing it." That creates a lull in the market, because thepragmatist is waiting for the other pragmatists, and they'rewaiting for him. So you have this effect we call the "juniorhigh dance" problem-who's going to get on the dance floor?Crossing the chasm becomes a really critical point in developinghigh-tech markets.

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