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Moore Has Spoken—Were RFID Vendors Listening?

In a free RFID Journal webinar, bestselling author Geoffrey Moore, the world's leading expert on understanding disruptive technologies, laid out a strategy for success in the RFID industry. The question is: How many vendors were listening?
By Mark Roberti
May 10, 2010When I was a college student, I took a humanities class taught by a brilliant professor named Sam Toperoff. He used to say the most amazing things—"The only way to judge a person's intelligence is by how well they live," for instance—and I used to look around at my classmates, some of whom were asleep, and think: Are you listening to this guy?

I had the same feeling during the recent Geoffrey Moore webinar that we hosted with the support of RFID Recruiters. Moore is clearly the world's foremost authority on the technology adoption life cycle and how to effectively exploit market opportunities at each stage. His books Crossing the Chasm, Inside the Tornado, The Gorilla Game and Living on the Fault Line are all bestsellers, and are considered required reading at many leading business schools.

Moore addressed many of the issues RFID technology providers—and users—are facing as the technology goes through the adoption life cycle. Approximately 750 people signed up, and about half of those individuals logged on to the live event. Those numbers are high for a webinar, but given Moore's stature, and the struggles the RFID industry has faced, I had thought we'd reach our limit of 1,000 people, which we didn't.

The irony is that many of the companies that I think are doing a good job of positioning their products and solutions in the market for when RFID enters the tornado were on the call. And conversely, many of the firms that are doing a poor job were not. I would encourage those who missed the event to view the archived video of the webinar in our video library.

For those of you who think you're too busy to hear what the master has to say, here is the Cliff Notes version. (For those unfamiliar with the term, Cliff Notes are summaries of books and topics designed to make studying quicker and easier—short cuts for students.)

• RFID probably has crossed the chasm, at least in some industries, such as health care. In others, the business case is still being proven, and it is still in the chasm. (The chasm is the stage between "visionaries" who adopt technology solutions to try to gain a competitive edge, and "pragmatists" who will invest in a technology only when everyone else does so.)

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