Crossing The Chasm Is Hard

By Micky Thompson

In last month's article, I thanked several stakeholders who helped me and my co-founder Jarret Hamstreet start Post.Bid.Ship. What is Post.Bid.Ship.? Like Priceline.com sells empty hotel rooms and airline seats, Post.Bid.Ship. helps trucking firms sell empty trailer space. Click here to read last month's article.

Last week, Post.Bid.Ship. reached 2 monumental milestones as a company: 1) our innovative online service now has over 1,000 trucking firms as users representing over 180,000 trucks and 2) Post.Bid.Ship. was featured in Transport Topics, one of nation’s largest transportation news sources, for being an innovator in the commercial trucking industry. Click here to read the Transport Topics article.

Yet even with these accomplishments, Post.Bid.Ship. still has much more work remaining before we can be officially called a “success.” We first must cross the 'chasm'.

Crossing The Chasm ‘Crossing the Chasm’ is a phrase used by technology entrepreneurs and was made famous by a book of the same name written by Geoffrey A. Moore in 1991. The book focuses on detailing the hardships and difficulty that exists marketing high tech products during the early periods of a start-up.

There are five main market segments that are recognized by marketers of technology: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. The most difficult step for a technology start-up is making the transition from ‘early adopters’ to ‘early majority’, also known as the 'chasm'. This is the marketing phase our team at Post.Bid.Ship. is currently navigating.

While having 1,000 trucking firms and 180,000 trucks is a big deal, those 1,000 firms still represent less than 1% of all trucking firms in North America and the 180,000 trucks represent just 5% of all tractor-trailers on America's roads. We were able to build such an impressive amount of trucks in our system because Post.Bid.Ship. focused its early days on North America’s largest trucking firms. That effort helped us establish product viability and generated overwhelming investor interest.

Diffusion of Innovation These current carriers who utilize Post.Bid.Ship. came from within the first 2 groups detailed by Moore, ‘innovators’ and ‘early adopters’. For Post.Bid.Ship. to be successful long-term, our team must convince the next group in the ‘Innovation Adoption Lifecycle’ (see image) known as ‘early majority’ to adopt Post.Bid.Ship. ‘Early majority’ represent 34% of the market, doubling the 15.5% made up by both ‘innovators’ and ‘early adopters’ combined.

'Early Majority' users are much more disciplined consumers when compared to innovators and early adopters. They seek to purchase well-developed and market proven products. Unlike innovators and early adopters, 'early majority' don’t pride themselves on using ‘bleeding edge’ technology.

While entrepreneurs are never guaranteed success, Jarret and I are lucky to be born in the United States where taking risks is promoted, failure is worn like a badge of courage, success is credited to the team who made it happen and blessed describes all involved for dreaming big and building it. 'Crossing the Chasm’ is just one of the many milestones entrepreneurs like Jarret and me must navigate in our goal of transitioning from leading a 'successful start-up' to leading a 'successful company'. Here’s to seeing you one day on the other side of the chasm!

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Micky Thompson helps small to medium-sized organizations access Chief Information/Technology Officer services used by larger enterprises except on a fractional basis. By purchasing Chief Information/Technology Officer services on a fractional basis, the services are easier to obtain and more affordable. In using our services, our clients avoid the overhead of recruiting and retaining the talent required to perform this work in-house.
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