The Iranian Women’s Revolution and Crossing the chasm

In product development, the goal of every product owner from startups to the top 10 tech companies is to cross the chasm. Think about Apple, Airbnb, and Uber, they all were startups that crossed the chasm.

The chasm refers to the technology adoption lifecycle or the transition from the early market into the mainstream eye. Crossing the chasm means the opportunity for hyper-growth and market success. 

For any successful product, from a physical product, like an iPhone or a pair of sneakers to digital products like services or content, some elements must be involved to cross the chasm. The same concept applies to a political movement or a human rights movement. In one of the most iconic series of events post-collapse of the soviet union, some three decades ago, we see that in the streets of Iran: The uprising against one of the darkest periods in modern history.

Customers in any given market belong to one of five groups: Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, and Laggards:

  • Innovators/ Technology Enthusiasts like those who spend the night on the line before the next iPhone release. 
  • Early Adopters/ visionaries like those who bought Bitcoin in 2010.
  • Early majority/ pragmatists like those who bought Tesla in 2014
  • Late majority/ conservatives
  • Laggards/ skeptics: They still don’t use FaceID on their iPhones.

The same groups apply to any society and the Iranian women’s uprising follows the same path. 

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  • Innovators/ Enthusiasts: Since 1979 there has been always resistance against the government, including against mandatory hijab, mostly at the individual level.
  • Early Adopters/ visionaries started with the White Wednesday movement in December 2017. 
  • Early majority/ pragmatists started following murdering Mahsa Amini by the Islamic regime.
  • Late majority/ conservatives joined the movement after three months of brutal repression by the Islamic regime: Even the family, including the sister of Khamenei, is distancing themselves from the dictatorship.
  • Laggards/ skeptics.

The early adoption of the revolution started in December 2017 with a movement to attach headscarves on a stick, to show the opposition to mandatory hijab, which most women are against. As expected government heavily suppressed the movement, but couldn’t silence it. It became more mainstream and moved to the next phase, the early majority phase when Mahsa Amini was killed by the Islamic regime in September 2022. That was the Crossing the Chasm moment. In three months, the revolution expanded to the next phase to the late majority, with many conservatives distancing themselves from the regime, including Khamenei’s close family.

Now there is no force to suppress Iranian women in their fight for freedom. That’s unstoppable. The Islamic regime is systematically torturing, raping and killing women as every Human Rights group has confirmed, and yet, the tsunami of change is moving forward, faster than ever.

Congratulations Women of Iran for rightfully being recognized by Time magazine as the Heroes of the Year, if not the decade!






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