How to find niche markets for new technologies

You have just developed a new technology. Now you ask yourself, what is the market for this technology? In other words, who might have an interest in purchasing your technology? And how many interested persons or organizations are out there, i.e. how big is your market? Somewhat counterintuitively, it might be better to look for niche markets here. Looking for niche markets is an example of what innovation analysts do.

Why niche markets?

Now, your first reaction might be, “let’s find the largest market out there for my new tech. After all, I want as many people as possible to buy my technology. Not to mention that investors will also find large numbers more attractive”. Well, not quite. Many people have argued and demonstrated successfully that you should start in a small or niche market instead. Why? To quote Peter Thiel, from his book Zero to One, “it’s easier to dominate a small market than a large one”. Peter Thiel then provides several examples of how this works in his book.

So, how do you find a niche market for your new tech?

Looking for niche markets in “smart contract technology”

Let’s say you just developed a new smart contract technology. You could now spend days or weeks searching the web, aggregating your findings, etc.. Or you could treat yourself to a fancy but expensive report from a consultancy (and then very likely find that the report does not really address your specific question because it was written for a more general audience, and that in order to really address your question, you’d also have to buy this, that, and the other report).

How Mergeflow helps you discover niche markets

Or you could use Mergeflow for discovering niche markets. Mergeflow uses natural language processing and other advanced analytics technologies, applies these analytics to raw content continuously collected from the web and other sources, and then lets you map technologies to markets. This means that you can search Mergeflow for your technology, zoom in on markets, and simply order the markets by size (smallest first in this case). In another article in this blog, we have used Mergeflow to analyze the “smart city” market.

Consider our “smart contract technology” example. Mergeflow goes beyond just showing you estimates of “the smart contract market”. Rather, it also shows you market estimates that are related to your technology. The screenshot below shows some examples of the smaller smart contract markets discovered by Mergeflow:

"Smart contract" niche markets discovered by Mergeflow.
“Smart contract” niche markets discovered by Mergeflow.

And here are some of the large ones:

Large "smart contract" markets discovered by Mergeflow.
Large “smart contract” markets discovered by Mergeflow.

Notice how none of these markets even mentions “smart contract” in its name. It is more like discovering applications for your technology, along with estimates of their market size and growth rate (CAGR).

By the way, Mergeflow does not generate the market size and growth estimates. It merely extracts and normalizes market data from news and other sources. But we have written an article about how you can check the plausibility of a market estimate.

Now, back to our original question, “what are niche markets for smart contract technology?” As you can see in the tables above, blockchain in agriculture and food supply would be one example (in this context, you might also be interested in our article on making blockchain scalable). But not online grocery; it is too large (and therefore much more likely to attract fierce competition).

Some more examples?

Let’s look at some more technologies. For example, say you have a new e-discovery technology. For this, one niche market identified by Mergeflow would be healthcare archiving and ediscovery, with an estimated market size of USD5Bn in 2018. Contrast this with the enterprise content management market, which is also very relevant to e-discovery. But at an estimated USD 42Bn in 2018, it is probably too large.

Or, another example, let’s take cybersecurity as a technology field. According to Mergeflow, telemedicine is an application area of cybersecurity technology, with an estimated market size of ca. USD830Mio in 2018. At the other end of the spectrum, in terms of market size, are applications like public cloud services, at an estimated USD307Bn in 2018, or public safety and security, which different estimates put somewhere between USD288Bn and USD316Bn in 2018.

What next?

Let’s say that now you really consider moving into one of these niche markets with your new technology. In order to make informed decisions on what to do next, you could now use Mergeflow to explore your technology, but in the context of your selected niche market. For example, you could use Mergeflow to discover relevant companies, venture fundings (i.e. investors and funded companies), R&D, experts, etc.. In order to experience first-hand how this works, you can sign up for a free 7-day Mergeflow trial.

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