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In The Media

“Crossing the Chasm”, Revisited 2016 (It was written in 1991)

by Larry Chiang on April 27, 2016

by Larry Chiang

Some questions have come from a Stanford alum. Someone did not do their optional Geoffrey Moore reading 😉 No worries on skipping “Crossing the Chasm”, I will tackle these Stanford engineering questions and will add a chronological, stepwise component to “Crossing the Innovation Chasm From the Right” in a YouTube video. For now, some point blank answers to…


-Confused about what the shaded portion on the right side of the chasm actually represents, and how you could just jump the chasm. Maybe you could explain this in one sentence clearly right at the beginning of the video?

The right side of the Chasm represents “Main Street” and the fact that the innovation has reached the public. The shaded area represents a large existing market.
The old way was to do “customer development cycle” in the area to the left of the Chasm

avoid "startup death spiral". These are Steven Blank's words. Not mine. avoid “startup death spiral”. These are Steven Blank’s words. Not mine.

New way = Sell in a very specific vertical

-How is it that you can jump the chasm and obtain your advocates without innovating first? Why would you want to go this route and is there more to the “chasm” than just not having advocates?

Jumping the chasm is not what I am advocating. It is very difficult and I have not seen it done. Instead, operate and sell in the shaded region. Obtaining advocates is possible if you are selling them something. Later, mix in an add-on sale. I have expanded this in a WTDoTYASES blog post: June 2, 2016.


-Also, I never actually knew what the “lemonade” & “gua gua guacamole” thing meant. I remember hearing you talking a lot about it in ENGR 145, and I’m not sure if it’s something I haven’t learned yet in entrepreneurship or if it’s something specific to you / ENGR 145.

Lemonade refers to a lemonade stand business. It forces us into the practice of selling in the shaded hashtagged region that is to the right of the chasm. The problem is that customer development cycle on the left of the chasm would be hard for a even a sales professional to execute and get sales. Gua Gua Guacamole is a series of business recipes meant to get you your first $10k in sales.

do “customer development cycle” in the area to the RIGHT of the Chasm

Customer development cycle when "Crossing the Chasm From the Right" Customer development cycle when “Crossing the Chasm From the Right”

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