From the journey of a thousand miles an inch
Lao Zi Lao Tzu
I had lunch with Shen Wei, one of the former students who just got a job at a medium-sized consulting firm. After catching up a bit, I noticed that he seemed a little lost. I’d like you to map the space so I can figure out what I can add.
I told Shenwei that I was happy with him because he had just given me a great learning opportunity of how to quickly understand and map a new market. made an expression, but in front of him
“Okay, that’s the start. Give me a few words to describe what they do, what they mean, or what you don’t know about them.”
Do not be intimidated by the enormity of the unknown.start with what you know.
A few minutes later he came up with a pictorial napkin sketch of Mapping – Second Pass.
I pointed out that he now has a starter list that includes not just the companies, but the beginning of the map of the relationships between those companies. He had some facts, others were hypotheses and concepts. And he had a lot of unanswered questions.
I spent the next 20 minutes breaking down that sketch and mapping the second pass list as a diagram (see Mapping – Third Pass).
Continuing to read more material will raise more questions than facts. Your goal is to first turn the question into a testable hypothesis (guess). Then see if you can find data that turns your hypothesis into fact. For a while, questions start accumulating faster than the facts. that’s ok.
A diagrammatic representation of the relationships of companies within an industry can help you gain a deeper understanding of how the industry works and who the key players are. Start building right away. Once you realize that not every relationship can be filled, the gaps quickly become apparent outlining what you need to learn.
As the fog of information began to clear, I could see Shenwei’s confidence returning. I pointed out that his mandate has the real advantage of being in a known industry with a wealth of information available, and while reading reports and his website, he said that the third mapping his I quickly realized that you can keep adding information to the path column of the .
Google and Google Scholar are your best friends. Search terms increase as you discover new information.
My suggestion was to use the third mapping pass diagram as the beginning of the wall chart. And every time I learned about the industry, I updated the relationship diagram of the industry and its segments. (When he pointed out that there were existing maps of the semiconductor industry that he could copy, I suggested ignoring them. The goal was for him to understand the industry well enough to draw his own map from scratch.) If so, he might make a better one.)
When lunch was over, Shenwei asked me if I could check in with him since he learned something new, and I agreed. What he didn’t know was that this was just the first step in his 10-step industry mapping process.
Over the next few weeks, Shenwei shared what she learned and sent us an increasingly sophisticated and updated map of industry relations. (The fourth mapping his path appeared 48 hours after him.)
Two weeks later, he handed management an industry report covering the following 10 steps and containing a high-level industry diagram built from scratch. A far cry from his original napkin sketch!
Half a year later, his commitment to this project convinced his company that there was great opportunity in the semiconductor sector, and he started a new business with him. His work earned him the “Best New Employee” award.
10 steps to mapping any industry
We start by continuously improving our understanding of the industry by charting it. List all new words you come across and create a glossary in your own words. Start collecting the best sources you read.
Basic knowledge of the industry
- Illustrate the industry and its segments
- start anything
- Constructing Learning with Continuous Iterations
- Who are the major suppliers in each segment?
- How is this industry impacting the larger economy?
- Create industry-specific glossaries
- Can you explain them to others? Are there any similarities with other markets?
- Who are the industry experts for each segment? The industry as a whole?
- Economic expert?Examples: industry analysts, universities, think tanks
- Tech expert?Examples: Universities, think tanks
- Geography expert?
- Major conferences, blogs, websites, etc.
- What are the best open source data feeds?
- What are the best paid resources?
Overlay numbers, dollars, market share and compound annual growth rate (CAGR) on all parts of the industry chart. It informs the speed and direction of the market.
In-depth industry understanding
- Who are the market leaders? New entrants?by revenue, market share and growth rate
- in the United States
- western countries
- Understand technology flow
- who builds on whom
- Who matters and who can substitute
- understand the flow of the economy
- Who buys from whom in this industry
- Who will buy products from this industry?
- How cyclical is the demand?
- What are the drivers of demand?
- How are companies within each segment funded? Are there differences in capital requirements? Ease of entry, etc.
- Understand headcount flows for each segment, if applicable
- Do people only move between their segments, or do they move across industries?
- where do they train?
A novice forecasting method is to simply estimate the current growth rate. But in today’s technology market, discontinuities are coming at breakneck speed. Are there other technologies in the adjacent market that impact this? (e.g. AI, Quantum, High Performance Computing, …?). Are there other global or national economic initiatives that could reshape the market?
- What has changed in the last 10 years? 5 years?
- Illustrating past incarnations of the industry
- What will change in the next 5 years?
- Do you have key insights about disruption?
- New technology?
- New foreign supplier?
- Diagram the industry model in 5 years
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