I did a post on Seattle 2.0 called, "Is Your TAM Too Small? 3 Tips for Defining Your Market Size ." I had a lot of direct emails to me about this topic. A lot of the emails were questions about a specific TAM question, especially related to where to get sources of really good bottoms-up analysis. You typically spend a lot more of your time finding all of the information than actually building your segmentation and sizing models. Since you and your company get credit for analysis of an opportunity, here are some additional tips that will help speed up the monotonous research phase of building your total addressable market (outside of surfing the Net), these ideas include:
- Investment bankers - getting to know them is always a good idea. Its good to get in the "interesting companies" spiel when they talk to strategic investors. Bankers have access to a lot of research, too. Build a relationship and you'll find that getting access to research reports is really easy.
- Secondary research - try to get some sample research from a large research firm. This "taste test" should be some key pieces of data that you are looking for and you never know if you end up being a client of a Gartner Group, Jupiter, etc.
- Networking - this is obvious, but, I've always found that the larger your network is, the more powerful it can be for everyone involved. Reach out to a CEO that used to be in your space. Make sure to return the favor to the person you reach out to or pay it forward the next time someone asks you for a favor.
Its what you do with this information that is important versus just presenting raw data. Remember what Voltaire said, "judge a man by his questions rather than by his answer."