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Category: Competitive Research & Analysis

Is Your Concept Feasible?

January 9, 2015 by Akira Hirai


Test the feasibility of your concept

The start of a new year brings thoughts of new beginnings. For some of us, that might mean thoughts of turning our ideas into businesses. We’ve all had “Eureka!” moments when we come up with bright ideas for that proverbial better mousetrap. If only we could build it, the world would surely beat a path to our door to buy it. A sure thing! In reality, new businesses are never sure things. In fact, most business ventures fail. And that usually means entrepreneurs go through tremendous hardship with little to [Read More]

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The Fallacy of First Mover Advantage

February 18, 2014 by Shyam Jha


The Fallacy of First Mover Advantage

“No one remembers the second man on the moon,” goes the marketing adage. “Or second to market.” Fans of Buzz Aldrin may disagree, but the fact remains that Neil Armstrong is the name that first comes to mind when thinking about the conquest of the moon. Being first to market is a much-hyped strategic advantage. Indeed, there are several cases of first mover advantage holders who created a new market space with a new product or service, and continued to dominate that segment. Think Ford in automobiles, Gillette in shaving, [Read More]

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How Startups Should Think About Competition

December 19, 2011 by Marty Zwilling


How Startups Should Think About Competition

Every entrepreneur should spend plenty of time thinking about competitors, and how they relate to your business, but you need to be very careful what you say out loud about them to your team, your investors, and your customers. What you say speaks volumes about how you think about your startup, how smart you are, and your personal integrity. I’ve spent hours talking to startup founders, and heard a thousand startup pitches, and I always listen carefully to what is said (or not said) about competitors. Everyone has a view [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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The Five Dimensions of Competitive Analysis for Startups

October 6, 2010 by Marty Zwilling


The Five Dimensions of Competitive Analysis for Startups

One of the key sections of any business plan is the analysis of the competition. I especially love the ones that start and end by saying “We don’t have any competitors.” Investors take that to mean either 1) there is no market for your product, or 2) you don’t understand the concept of business and competition. Either way you lose. Way back in 1979, Michael E. Porter proposed a Five Forces framework for analyzing the competitive environment which I think still makes a lot of sense today. Every startup should [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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