How to run dev market research quickly (with no product/users/audience)?
One of the first things I do when starting working with a dev tool startup is to search Reddit.
Consistently it is the simplest and quickest way to get actually usable market insights.
Here is what I do:
- Search “company” and “product”
- Read comments, take notes.
- List out competitors that come up in the comments.
- Do the same Reddit search for “competitor”, take notes.
When taking notes I am looking for:
- How high was the tool when it comes to upvotes in the “what do you use for X” threads
- What people liked, what use case do they recommend it for.
- What people didn’t like, stories where the tool failed.
You can extend that information with other sources like HackerNews, Slacks, Discords.
If you want to do that consistently for you market/product, there are social listening tools that can help you do that. Syften is a good dev-focused option.
But even if you just searched your product on Reddit every now and then and read through the comments you’d be surprised how much you can learn about the market.
“Wait, isn’t it better to just talk to our users?” you ask.
You should absolutely do that too.
But your users self-selected (on use case, on your marketing channel mix, on integrations and SDKs you have) by coming to you and they represent just a pocket of the market.
You may be leaving a lot of money on the table by not knowing what the wider market is thinking.
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