Crossing from the early adopters to a larger group

I’ve blogged many times about the chasm.

That’s Geoffrey Moore’s term for the gap between the small part of the market populated with people who like to go first, and the larger group of people who want to get involved with something that’s proven, popular and effective.

The early adopters ask, “is it new?”

The early majority ask, “did it work?” and perhaps, “what’s everyone else doing?”

Longtime readers of this blog know that I do my work for early adopters. The smallest viable audience is sufficient to make an impact, and it allows me to focus on the people who are enrolled in the journey forward.

But if you delight the early adopters, they spread the word. That is how the chasm is crossed–not with fancy ads or clever hype, but because the people who are engaged do the generous work of telling the others.

We’re launching the first lessons of the tenth edition of The Marketing Seminar this week. With more than 10,000 alumni, it’s the most popular workshop on the Akimbo platform. And it works. That’s why the 8,000 people who took it after the initial launch decided to join in. Not everyone goes first. Almost no one does. That’s how our culture changes–when the few early adopters tell the others. And so each of us has to persist and continue to show up in the marketplace, doing the work and earning the trust of people who don’t get a thrill out of going first.

People don’t show up when you launch.

They show up when they’re ready.


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