Ep. 46 | Crossing the Chasm

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In this Rethink podcast, Michael Eckhardt, managing director for the Chasm Institute, talks about seven pitfalls tech companies face in crossing the chasm.

If you attended business school, gotten an MBA, started a tech company, or been in an incubator or mentoring program, you’ve probably read Crossing the Chasm, a seminal book written by Geoffrey Moore in 1991 about innovation, technology and market adoption and now in its third edition with several million copies sold.

Michael is a veteran of Price Waterhouse (PwC), Harbridge Consulting, Hewlett-Packard, and Pepsico. The Chasm Institute has consulted more than 500 plus companies, from such as Intel, Cisco, Google, Spotify and more, using the book’s framework. Through that work, Eckhardt and his colleagues have identified seven common pitfalls, or deadly sins, that companies encounter attempting to cross the chasm.

In our conversation, he shares his thoughts on why Crossing the Chasm has had such staying power, as well as outlines those deadly sins.

Enjoy the conversation, and we hope you can get one or two takeaways that you can bring to your business.

Picture of Michael Eckhardt lecturing about crossing the chasm for tech companies


  • Can you tell us more about yourself and the Chasm Institute?
  • The Chasm Institute was born from Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm, published in 1991 with a third edition published in 2014, with several million copies sold. Why do you think the book has had such staying power over the decades?
  • Through your work consulting 500+ companies such as Intel, Cisco, Google, Spotify and more, you’ve identified many best practices for success such as focusing on one target market at a time. You’ve also identified what you call the 7 Deadly Sins companies should avoid. Can you tell us about them?
  • What is the first deadly sin (Target Customer Mix-Up)?
  • What is the Compelling Reason Confusion?
  • What is the Whole Product Perfection?
  • What is the Pricing Misstep?
  • How does this apply to other companies, not B2Bs or tech startups?
  • How does someone learn more about Chasm Institute?