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Category: Market Research & Analysis

Understanding Market Size, or Demystifying TAM, SAM and SOM

October 21, 2013 by Shyam Jha


Market Share

“How big is your target market?” is a question often asked by investors. Naturally, investors want to invest in large and rapidly growing markets. Most entrepreneurs hesitate when answering this question. What if they are far off from a VC’s idea of the size of a market? In addition, VCs will throw terms like TAM, SAM, and SOM at an entrepreneur in a rapid-fire fashion. There is no need to be intimidated by these acronyms. Here is a quick recap of what these terms mean: Total Available Market (TAM): This [Read More]

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You Don’t Have a Business Until You’ve Sold to Strangers

December 21, 2011 by Marty Zwilling


You Don't Have a Business Until You've Sold to Strangers

“Will the dogs eat the dog food?” This rather crude expression weighs heavily on the mind of all good startup founders, no matter how confident they appear. We all know the products they give away, and the ones purchased by family and friends don’t count. The real milestone, proving the business model, is that first product sold for full price to a total stranger, leaving him happy. So what can you do to expedite this event, or even improve the odds that it will happen at all? Of course, one [Read More]

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Product-Market Fit is Difficult for New Innovations

October 11, 2011 by Marty Zwilling


Product-Market Fit is Difficult for New Innovations

Even though I love technology, I always cringe when an entrepreneur starts his pitch by touting his new technology. He has forgotten that new technologies are perceived by most customers as causing more pain than the problems they hope to eliminate. I chastise these startups to highlight the solution created by the technology, rather than highlight the technology itself. I usually get pushback about the success of all the great technology companies, like Intel and Apple. Let me be clear – technology and market-driven need not be mutually exclusive! The [Read More]

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How to Conduct Market Research on a Tight Budget

January 26, 2011 by Akira Hirai and Marty Zwilling


How to Conduct Market Research on a Tight Budget

Most entrepreneurs know exactly what they want to design and build, and they are convinced that everyone will buy one. Yet they often fail to realize that their view is biased by a thousand factors, and will be instantly discounted by potential investors, as well as customers. Business plans with no third-party “industry expert” data on your target market size and growth rate are routinely rejected. Your business plan must have a prominent “Market Opportunity” section, with industry market size and growth data from real studies. Within this section, investors expect to [Read More]

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How to Feasibility Test Your Concept

January 29, 2009 by Jimmy Lewin


How to Feasibility Test Your Concept

The product, service or technology that serves as the foundation of your new business enterprise must be more than a good idea or cool science project. It must solve a critical problem or respond to a compelling market opportunity. Indeed, lenders, investors and potential employees will want to understand the size and scope of this opportunity. And, so must you. When it comes to assessing your market opportunity, your opinion might be interesting but it is no substitute for documenting in a serious and professional manner the market landscape in [Read More]

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Medical Device Feasibility Analysis

August 20, 2008 by Akira Hirai


Medical Device Feasibility Analysis

Jerry S, one of our friends in the medical device market, was recently asked a question that many others out there have also probably had: I have an idea for a medical appliance that I do not believe is currently on the market. I have no engineering background and have no idea where to start to get this idea evaluated, mocked up, and potentially marketed. I know there are web sites that promise to promote inventions but I’m squeamish about them. Does anyone have any ideas of where I might [Read More]

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