Moore’s chasm strategy is therefore more helpful in the real world and in church innovations.

D. Rogers simplified his research task by using an innovation, hybrid seed corn, which was a certain success, provided obvious and indisputable economic benefits, could not be customized by the user and had no potential negative consequences; this effectively isolated the variable of the rate of adoption of innovation as there were no other concerns.[1] There is a widespread myth that, once an innovation was recommended by visionaries in a system, adoption became inevitable.[2] Later research showed a need for increasing sophistication when the proposed adoption is less obviously positive. Visionaries in the real world frequently experience total failure in their attempts to change systems when it comes to encouraging adoption by pragmatics.

E. Moore perceives a much higher importance to the decisions made by Middle Adopters or pragmatists who are frequently the decision makers in high tech markets where adoption of an innovation involves assuming great expense and risks. Moore’s chasm strategy is therefore more helpful in the real world and in church innovations. Middle Adopters are the pivotal group for achieving critical mass and rapid, S-curve adoption. They link the visionary minority with the pragmatic majority and resistance to change is overcome as they adopt the innovation.

[1]Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations, 31-35, 53-55.

[2]Jon Berry and Ed Keller, The Influentials: One American in Ten Tells the Other Nine How to Vote, Where to Eat, and What to Buy (New York: Free Press, 2002). For information on the role of opinion leaders and change agents in adoption, see Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations, 281-370.

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