I was one of the many who was greatly impressed and influenced by Geoffrey Moore’s early books on the Technology Adoption Life Cycle and the High-tech Marketing Model – Crossing the Chasm and Inside the Tornado. These books deal with the issues of high-tech product development, marketing, sales and service; describing and analysing processes, positioning and practices of a product as it goes through its life cycle.
Not only did Moore discuss how a technology product should be packaged, delivered and adapted through the life cycle, but he also dealt with the changes in service and support that would be needed, depending on the stage of the life cycle.
For a long time after I read his books I assumed that it was written for the benefit of customers first, then the high-tech industry managers and other workers. However, after attending SYSPRO’s international executive conference, and hearing CEO and founder Phil Duff talking about how the company focuses on its customers, and how it has been, and will be, delivering products and services, did it strike me that Moore’s books are really aimed at one audience – not customers or vendor people, but technology industry investors.
This is another case of me taking a long time to ‘get it’!
Because SYSPRO is privately held, the focus has always primarily been the value of the product to customers, and the protection of a customer’s investment. When Phil Duff speaks about what SYSPRO will be providing in the future, he talks about things that make a difference to customers. At other established ERP companies, a major concern is on the value to shareholders and their returns (something I have personally seen).
When you look at Moore’s bio and credentials, as a venture capitalist, the purpose for writing the books should have been obvious. So in future, when I come across one of Moore’s other significant concepts – e.g., the whole product – I will remember that while this is for the customer, the ultimate reason for the concept is to deliver benefit to shareholders.