Geoffrey Moore’s series of books on the product life cycle; Crossing the Chasm, Inside the Tornado and Dealing with Darwin are some of the most educational and excellent books I have ever read on the product life cycle. The challenge and applicability of these concepts, IMHO, has greatly diminished in the past 3 to 5 years. The concepts in these most awesome books tended to apply to introducing and selling hardware based products which is becoming increasingly less relevant to technology products. The intent and focus of lifecycle marketing was to target large and medium enterprise. With the melt down there are far fewer large and medium enterprise customers. The fortune 1000 isn’t what it used to be.
The Longtail is highly relevant to the broad and diverse nature of marketing on the internet. Instead of having the traditional normalized curve of the life cycle what you have today is a much different distribution. The range of selection and options open to consumers and businesses is approaching infinite options. The number of bins along the curve is large and the bins are shallow. Hence you really need a highly selective method of targeting your market rather than riding the lifecycle wave. Today’s market is the Fortune 5,000,000 or even 500,000,000.
Darwin has dealt an evolutionary blow to the product lifecycle and the long tail is rising.
- Ian Graham