• Nick Eubanks

    David – Above all else, I am upset that you do not write more. This is a wonderfully relevant and tangible example of how to take a strategic approach to validating your market, your audience, and the potential size of your product’s runway.

    A few stand-out points that I think you nailed:

    1. The simplicity of your gap analysis is spot on, and I love the fact that you boiled this down to a perspective that allows readers to get their heads around just how important this is, and how little it really costs (especially when considering the potential for success).

    2. Your continued push to ‘just talk to people,’ as a channel for research, offering the opportunity to gather more than pure data; providing you perspective into emotional reactions and potential customer sentiment.

    3. The consistent use of 2 sides of the same coin; us versus our competitors – but always the same question, providing a self-fulfilling benchmark for which to hold the opportunity against as a barometer.

    Really enjoyed this.

  • Jason Manion

    Awesome post, Dave. It’s nice to see you post here, and I hope all is well with you.

    You mentioned potential concerns about the costliness of parts of this analysis. I think it goes without saying that the potential cost (in time, money, effort, reputation, etc) that can come from NOT properly planning far outweighs the investment that goes into proper planning.

  • David Cohen

    Nick, thank you. I was gently nudged to post this one :)

    My original draft of this post was around 8,000 words. There’s a lot I left out but it sounds like you read between the lines well and picked up the context.

    For example, I also used services like Gut Check It ( to do inexpensive qualitative research. But for quantitative research, I went with an agency that had well-educated, well-experienced analysts and data scientists to tell me what the data was revealing. I like to leave that to the experts but it doesn’t come cheap. I think I spent $8,000 for that, but again, it was for a product that had 8-figure revenue potential.

    The competitor component was and is one of my favorite things. In another scenario with that same company I reference in the post, I used Bloomberg, Crunchbase, job postings, etc. to predict a competitor that would come right into our space. A year and a half later, they showed up in our backyard and were better funded :)

    Thanks for the thoughtful comments and taking the time to read and share.

  • David Cohen

    Spot on, Jason. Great thoughts. I think it’s always worth saying, it doesn’t get said enough. You know much of this story well… and I’m guessing you do a lot of planning and strategizing in your current role :)

  • David Angotti

    Great article David. I’ve seen quite a few companies with a good process in place fail due to faulty gap analysis. Those companies had unwarranted low opinions of competition and high opinions of themselves/their own ideas. As you mentioned, I think it is extremely important to talk to other people who will give you real, unfiltered feedback during this phase. I enjoyed the post.

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  • David Cohen

    Thanks, David. I agree with you 100%, I think we’ve both seen companies disregard relatively unknown players only to see them show up in their space a year or two later. It’s hard to imagine that companies still refuse to pursue their audience and community to learn how to improve their products and more importantly, innovate.

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  • Spook SEO

    Hi David,

    I agree with you. Theme and sequence is very important in formulating an effective marketing strategy. Marketers should always find ways to develop their strategy and a good assessment of present projects can lead to wiser decisions. Performing opportunity analysis requires attention so focus on details is necessary for the present project to achieve the target goals. Anyway, this post is really enlightening. Thanks so much!