Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tracking Market Statistics

As an entrepreneur and product manager, I am always on the look out for new opportunities.  One of the first things I am trained to do is to Can I expand into an adjacent market by adding a new feature?  What is the size of market for a completely new product which I can bring to market with existing technology?  Good market data is hard to find.  Sometimes, our companies have access to analyst resources like IDC, Gartner, Forrester, etc.  However, I have found a lot of great information pop-up in newspapers and other popular media outlets.  I keep track of some of the key statistics in a spreadsheet.  Here are some entries from my market data spreadsheet -

  • Number of vehicles sold in 2010 = 12M
  • WW PC sales (2011 estimate by Gartner) - 364M 
  • WW PC sales (2012 estimate by Gartner) - 368M
Collecting this kind of information has helped me develop an instinct and enough data points to quickly size different opportunities.  What would be really terrific is if the marketing firms that keep track of such data democratize this information.  In other words, instead of charging $1,995/report, expose the high level data for free.  This would hook users like me and if I need more data, I wouldn't mind paying $20 for every additional piece of information.  Something like this (numbers are made up) -


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