Brij Singh's Blog

May 16, 2011

iPad to Honeycomb. Crossing the Chasm Meets Tablet Design?

Filed under: Tech — Brij @ 1:23 pm

Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing The Chasm will definitely come close to being an ultimate book on marketing in the technology space. For many years product managers and investors have used it as a bible and also as the basis for operational checklist.

Phenomenal success of iPad, how it decimated Windows based tablets and how Android has learned, adjusted along the way is a classic retake on Crossing the Chasm. With one big difference. This time chasm is within Silicon Valley. Conventional theory, as explained in this famous graph, had customers segmented along innovators, early adopters and all the way to laggards. Purpose was to engage these customers with tools and strategies relevant to their stage. Early adopters need different type of incentives and laggards need different type of education etc.

Speed of innovation around smart-phone and tablets has taken many managers by complete surprise. I wonder if this new speed of business has created chasm kind of situation within tech industry. Not sure about this hypothesis but after talking to many companies and being witness to many “powerpoint recalls”, I suspect similar graph exists within product management circle. I met three companies where they showed me Kindle type of device, with proprietary OS filled with huge amount STEM (read lucrative) content. That was roughly 10 to 11 months ago. Recently I came to know that they are all now betting their fortunes on Honeycomb. This time pitch is slightly different. Samsung kind of device, will carry customer branding, we will skin it, there will be subscription model and we will stuff it with curated vertical market specific content. In brief, pitch is – we will create iPad/App Store experience for select clients using Honeycomb.

This is an Early Majority take!

Late Majority and Laggards are carefully watching this market. They will move in with their niche and spin. My point is this time they are all looking inside, within tech industry and reacting. There is not much time to wait and watch how customers are going to react. That will be probably late for many product managers.

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