June 24, 2021
PUBLISHED BY Geoffrey Moore
Jeff Bussgang, a Co-Founder and General Partner at Flybridge Capital, published a piece for TechCrunch recently that argued — when it comes to the technology adoption life cycle and the chasm — it is time for a refresh. His argument went as follows:
- VCs in recent years have drastically underestimated the size of SAMs (Serviceable Addressable Markets) for their start-up investments because they were “trained to think only a portion of the SAM is obtainable within any reasonable window of time because of the chasm.”
- The chasm is no longer the barrier it once was because businesses have finally understood that software is eating the world.
- As a result, the early majority has joined up with the innovators and early adopters to create an expanded early market. Effectively, they have defected from the mainstream market to cross the chasm in the other direction, leaving only the late majority and the laggards on the other side.
- That is why we now are seeing multiple instances of very large high-growth markets that appear to have no limit to their upside. There is no chasm to cross until much later in the life cycle, and it isn’t worth much effort to cross it then.
Now, I agree with Jeff that we are seeing remarkable growth in technology adoption at levels that would have astonished investors from prior decades. In particular, I agree with him when he says:
“The pandemic helped accelerate a global appreciation that digital innovation was no longer a luxury but a necessity. As such, companies could no longer wait around for new innovations to cross the chasm. Instead, everyone had to embrace change or be exposed to an existential competitive disadvantage.”
But this is crossing the chasm! Pragmatic customers are being forced to adopt because they are under duress. It is not that they buy into the vision of software eating the world. It is because their very own lunches are being eaten. The pandemic created a flotilla of chasm-crossings because it unleashed a very real set of existential threats.
See the full article Here