No niche is too small
September 27, 2020
Successful startups rarely start in a large market.
Software markets continue to be much larger than expected. This reenforces that being too prescriptive about market size analysis for early stage investing is not particularly meaningful.— Chetan Puttagunta (@chetanp) June 29, 2020
But no one had seen “search” as a valid market until Google exists. They created/pioneered the market. They are the market themselves.
Sizing the market for a disruptor based on an incumbent's market is like sizing the car industry off how many horses there were in 1910.— Aaron Levie (@levie) June 8, 2014
While knowing the existing big markets and incumbents while your ideation process is essential, if you look at those successful businesses, they were ignored for a long time. People considered them to be a toy because no one has ever seen something like it before. Google, Apple, Facebook, and, more recently, Figma and RoamResearch started that way. They captured the small but engaging users, and grew to the point where they are now. Even existing companies competing with each other in a domain, they weren’t considered to be competitors at the beginning because they were very different, happen to come across while growing, not from the start.
Don’t sweat if your target seems too small. What matters is intensities; how much pain they have for the problem you are trying to solve. There are always groups of people where they are underserved and forced to fit in the giant bucket, and willing to pay for the solution.
And there’s a tendency that the smaller the niche is, the more intense the demand becomes. So if you succeed in identifying a niche, serve them well. You can expand by serving them very well.
There’s no such thing as a niche that’s too small if the people care enough. If you think you need a bigger market, you’re actually saying that the market you have doesn’t need you/depend on you/talk about you enough. You might not need a bigger niche. You might only need to produce more value for those you serve.
— Seth Godin Is Your Niche Too Small? - seths.blog