Calculate Market Size

Market Size (Frost & Sullivan)

A good background on the importance of market sizing and high-level description of three approaches.  The article is geared more towards established businesses rather than startups.

How to Size a Market – Part I (MarketingProfs)

Discussest the issue from an Internet startup perspective.  Topics include the “primary and secondary demand” and the “chain ratio method”.  There is a Part II, but it requires an account.

How to estimate market size (Lightspeed Venture Partners)

Also from the Internet startup perspective. Focuses on the concept of “Total Addressable Market size (TAM)”. Gives an example using a top-down approach.

When, Why, and How to Calculate Potential Market (

“Start with a large number and narrow it down”. This is a common theme among these articles, though none of them tell you much about how you get the large number to start with or how you can be sure you’re narrowing sufficiently.

Addressable Market: Making The Estimate (Mark Peter Davis)

Mark Davis describes the differences between bottom-up and top-down market sizing, and advises entrepreneurs to try several methods in order to be comprehensive.

Market Size Hypothesis [PDF] (Steve Blank)

Steve Blank (of Lean Startups) describes how to state and evaluate a “market size hypothesis”.  The discussion includes TAM vs SAM and top-down vs bottom-up estimation.

Market sizing (Google Answers)

Another discussion on TAM vs SAM, with examples.  The article is from 2004, and the links appear dead.

Guide to Online Market Research (James J. Hill Reference Library)

A listing of various online data sources for doing market research.  Very comprehensive!

How to Prepare a Market Analysis (The Edward Lowe Foundation)

Another listing of data sources, plus a section on surveying potential customers.

How to Identify Market White Space (David Teten, ff Venture Capital)

Video of a presentation and the accompanying slide deck on market research for startup entrepreneurs.

Market Research Information Sources (New York Science and Industry Business Library [SIBL])

I’m told that the SIBL is an excellent resource for market research, with many premium data sources that are useful for market sizing.  This class shows how to use the library and its resources.

4 Low-Cost Ways to Measure Market Demand (Wall Street Journal)

Practical, startup-friendly advice for gauging market size inexpensively.

The B2B Market Sizing Tool (OpenView Labs)

An interactive tool for estimating market size for B2B startups using the US Business Census