I recently attended a meeting and heard presentations from several start-up companies about their technology, potential market, and near-term strategies. Most of the presenters either casually dismissed the competition or claimed their company has no competition. We hear this all the time from start-up companies and even from seasoned management teams who should know better.
Here is what I would like to say to everyone who insists their technology has no competition. You really do have competition – even if it is indirect. Saying you have no competition makes me think that you don’t understand the market. There may not be another company with exactly the same technology, but how is the problem being addressed in the market now?
So, how do you identify your competition? Searching with a web browser is one place to start, but BIP recommends using a number of additional approaches to find potential competitors. For example:
- Talk with experts in the field and potential end users. They will know the current state of the art and may be aware of other new technologies.
- Consider indirect competition – medical practice, for example, is slow to change. You may have a new surgical tool, but the current treatment will still compete.
- Study competing academic research. Have any companies spun out? Has technology been licensed by another company?
- Examine relevant intellectual property. Keyword searches of patent databases may be enough to identify competitors you did not know were working in your market space.
Of course, BIP can do any or all of these tasks for you. Existing companies and start-ups have competition; let us help you find it. Contact us today for more information on our competitor analysis projects.