The post about the gulf between passion and pop touched a chord.
A few readers remembered Geoff Moore’s classic Crossing the Chasm. This is a super book (particularly the original (used) edition, not the updated one). Geoff has a different take on the curves, but his approach is well worth a look, especially for technology related products.
A few other readers wrote in, pointing out that they are going for both. Both passion and pop because the flexibility of the web makes it easy to do that. Of course, it doesn’t, not really. Going for both is rarely the right strategy.
Most germane: the two humps are not static. They move. Sometimes you can move them (I think Apple did) and sometimes the market moves on its own (music, for example). Most businesses don’t have the patience or the resources to move the Pop hump on their own, and I think it’s usually foolish to try. Passion, on the other hand, is always fast moving, and if you have something extraordinary and there’s a cadre of believers, the passionate will find you.