For most startups, market research only goes as far as finding a really big revenue number to put on their addressable market size slide of their investment pitch
It’s a big deal when a well known industry analyst provides some credibility to the startup’s hockey-stick revenue projections. This is what’s known as the “top-down” method of estimating one’s market. The founders think that putting an industry analyst’s name on one of the slides will prevent VCs or Angel investors asking the basic questions on product viability, market reach and customer acquisition.
The other way is the “bottom-up” approach, which requires more hard work . Using this method, you usually come up with “estimates”. You come up with the estimates of number of customers you will acquire, how much product they buy and for what price. The tricky thing here is the estimation part. One of the best ways to do that is to ask customers specific questions. Ask specific questions like – “Would you buy a gadget for $20 to synchronize your mp3 files?”
Put up a poll on a website where you think your future customers browse frequently. Pay the website money for the space or for hosting the poll. Get answers quickly and then change the poll and ask the next question till you can confidently come up with a decent estimate. Show this as proof to the investors when they invest in your company!.
Canadians are a little different. I am currently one of them. I guess we are different in a nice way. Asked in a recent poll commissioned by the Historica-Dominion Institute to name famous Canucks, past or present, who we would most like to invite over for the ideal Canada Day backyard bash, Canadians picked Fox and Wayne Gretzky over a long list of celebrities and historical figures.
From a list of 30 Canadians, Terry Fox – the amputee hero who died in 1981 before completing his epic cross-country run for cancer research – emerged as the most popular dream guest, with 38 per cent of respondents choosing him. Read more about this here.
This selection of who Canadians want to spend their time with on a holiday shows a common trend among North Americans. A lot of us are beginning to accept that people who have brought value to others either through their personal sacrifice or their determined efforts are ‘celebrities’ in their own right. Spending your time with these ‘celebreties’ (only if they were all alive) might be a good thing for your soul after all!
Hick’s law ( from wikipedia) describes the time it takes for a person to make a decision as a result of the possible choices he or she has.
It’s mathematically described as T = blog2(n + 1), where the simple explanation is that time T is dependent on the number of choices (n) and this relationship is logarithmic.
More choices means more time to make a decision; making it less likely any one of the provided options will be chosen. Now you know (scientifically) why landing pages for internet products has limited navigation and presents you usually only with one or two options.
When designing a poll, you should remember that you are eventually going to ask people to fill it out. A poll with more than 7 options will make things harder for the users. The rule of thumb for getting more participation is to minimize the number of options.