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Finding the market behind the numbers

March 15, 2014

My son like puzzles. He’s only two years old but he loves to find the most complex puzzle in the house, take it apart, and then out it back together. To see a young child wanting to tackle a series of complex puzzle problems is an inspiration to watch as a parent.

It is also inspirational to watch as a business development professional.

I’m not much good at the types of puzzles my son likes to tackle, but I enjoy figuring out another type of puzzle, markets.

Sometimes those puzzles are technology-related; figuring out who the main vendors are in a market, how their products differentiate, and trying to boil it all down to understand who is disrupting whom.

You figure out these technology markets because you need to understand who to partner with, who to maybe buy, or who is or may become a competitor. Or maybe the right answer is to just leave that market alone.

Then there are global puzzles, which are the ones I’ve recently been spending a lot of time. You can read reports, you can talk to experts, but it isn’t until you go out into the various markets and talk to potential customers and partners, do you begin to understand a market.

Reports have numbers, markets have nuances. You need to be actively investigating a market, technology or global, to properly understand the nuances.

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