What happens when an industry doesn't exist for your product?


What happens when you made a product for an industry that doesn't exist? I mean it sells, it makes revenue but the industry cannot be defined.

Is this a bad sign or a good sign?

Products Market Industry

asked Oct 22 '09 at 19:07
227 points

5 Answers


I believe that is a case where you know there exists a market for your product but it has not been named yet. As I see it, the scenario is much better than carving a new market for yourself. Infact, you probably have all the freedom to name and modify this market as per your need which is a very good thing.

Last night, I was reading an article where Pizza Hut had posted a job for an intern who would tweet for the company and handle all other social media accounts. That intern did the job so well that shes being hired as a full time employee, only if they find a name for her post in the company. New products may need new markets, offer new areas of employment and set new norms. You are probably at a stage where you can be the one, defining these norms.

Define the industry, invest some time in indirectly setting a few norms/rules/standards for this market! It is definitely a good sign that the market distinction exists, for you and your product :)

answered Oct 22 '09 at 19:52
56 points


An "industry" is a case where the map is not necessarily an accurate or useful representation of reality. Take for example any large company. It may be part of the "automotive" industry. But many of its departments do things and need software that have nothing to do with cars.

What's a more useful approach for you might be to profile what your present customers have in common and decide on new ways of reaching others who fit that profile.

answered Oct 22 '09 at 23:28
Bob Walsh
2,620 points
  • And here's a much longer answer to your question: http://www.47hats.com/2009/10/you-dont-sell-to-an-industry-you-sell-to-people/Bob Walsh 14 years ago
  • this is a great answer. identifying common needs from clients i've already done. A cetain usage of the product seems to be popular amongst clients (survey), however, i just have no idea how many other clients are out there. that is my biggest worry. what if you created a product and only 100 people are using it as of now, and the market for the product turns out to be only 300. ? – Gagwgw 14 years ago
  • I'd suggest digging deeper into why that certain usage is popular - it it better than other tools used for the same purpose? Is it a new need that your tool is partially good for, but could be better. Talk to these people - they will be flattered that a developer wants to know what they think. – Bob Walsh 14 years ago


As long as it brings in revenue, and provided that the revenue is higher than the cost, it's a good sign.

answered Oct 22 '09 at 19:31
871 points


What could possibly have no industry yet? Spool recharging bearings for interstellar faster-than-light jump drives?

There are only a handful of industries out there, and if you can't pick one, then you're thinking far too narrowly. Before Twitter, there was no "micro-blogging industry" but there was a "blogging industry", and Twitter fit right in. It was a little different, but everything neeeds to be a little different to compete.

answered Oct 22 '09 at 22:56
Alex Papadimoulis
5,901 points


That pretty much describes several markets Steve Jobs took Apple into. People use the word visionary a lot on him, with good reason. He could work out what would solve the problem better than the products that currently define the market. If you're trying to do the same thing, make sure at least a few people outside of your friends and family view you as having some skill in the "visionary" department.

answered Dec 11 '11 at 06:35
David Benson
2,166 points

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