Geoffrey Moore


Geoffrey Moore : biography

31 July 1946 –

Finally there are the straggling skeptics who will only buy into a technology product if it is say, a microprocessor buried in the braking system of the pick-up truck they are driving.

Managing for shareholder value through competitive advantage GAP and competitive advantage period CAP

GAP is a term used in investment analysis that interprets a company’s current reported revenue and margin performance as a gauge of the competitive separation it enjoys in its target markets.

CAP refers to estimates of the length of time an investor believes a company can maintain a differentiated position that creates competitive separation.

The jungle and the royal court

Moore defines the market share pecking order resulting from category outcomes in terms of the ‘proprietariness’ of the technology that an offering has embedded.

In an hierarchy resulting from the jungle scenario the pecking order is set firm in its place once established. The gorilla is the market-share leader whose position is sustained by proprietary technology that has high switching costs, leading to both high GAP and long CAP, the marks of exceptional shareholder value for the company. The chimp’s market share position is subordinate to the gorilla in a market where both vendors have proprietary technology that is incompatible with the other’s. To survive, chimps must typically create strongholds in niche markets where they are the local market leader or ‘gorilla in the niche’. A monkey company has little to no market share in a category dominated by a gorilla, its strategy is to reproduce the gorilla’s in-market offering as best it can and sell it at a substantial discount.

In the royal court scenario the roles of king, prince and serf are fluid throughout the life of the category in question. The king is the market share leader whose position is sustained primarily by execution. Compared with gorillas kings typically have equally high GAPs but, because they can be more readily swapped out, significantly shorter CAPs, resulting in lower shareholder value. The prince is a market-share challenger whose position is sustained primarily by execution as opposed to proprietary technology with high switching costs. Compared to chimps, princes have fare more volatile CAPs because they have the opportunity to displace kings as the market leader but also the vulnerability of being displaced by some another would be prince. The serf is a market share also-ran in a market with low switching costs, serfs enter and exit product categories opportunistically based on short lived offer power advantages. They are the ultimate commoditizing force. Compared with monkeys, serfs have lower barriers to entry as there is no proprietary technology to clone.

Core and context

Core is any activity that creates sustainable differentiation in the target market resulting in premium prices or increased volume. Core management seeks to dramatically outperform all competitors within the domain of core.

Context is any activity that does not differentiate the company from the customer’s viewpoint in the target market. Context management seeks to meet, but not exceed, appropriate accepted standards in a productive a manner as possible.


Prior to working with the McKenna Group, Moore was a sales and marketing executive at Rand Information Systems, Enhansys, and Mitem. He is a Venture Partner with Mohr Davidow Ventures and managing director at Geoffrey Moore Consulting.

Moore received a bachelor’s degree in American literature from Stanford University (1967) and a doctorate in English literature from the University of Washington (1974).

Moore began his professional life as an English professor at Olivet College in Michigan, before moving his family to California where he took a job as a corporate trainer and executive assistant at a technology company.

Moore and his wife Marie have three adult children, Margaret, Michael and Anna.