Market Segments

How Startups Estimate Market Size

by Tim Berry

It’s a common question. How do I know market size? Of course what one does for that depends on the type of business. What works for a web app won’t work for a restaurant. The kinds of information available in one market differs from another. Local demographics might be quite enough for a retail business, but irrelevant... Read More »

The Artist

Business Plan Market Research and the Fresh Look

by Tim Berry

Back in the 1970s when I was a foreign correspondent living in Mexico City, I dealt frequently with an American diplomat who provided information about Mexico’s increasing oil exports, which were a big story back then. We had lunch about once a month. He became a friend. The Fresh Look Then one day he told... Read More »


Don’t Be Fooled By Mismanaged Data

by Tim Berry

Here’s another great example of why you don’t blindly trust research. This illustration comes from this Gizmodo post. Post author Jesus Diaz is not saying this means what it seems to say (see his conclusion below). But here you are with another example of how easy it is to get the wrong conclusions, especially when the research... Read More »


Truth is a Believable Story

by Tim Berry

I grew up believing that facts, like research, numbers and percentages, told the truth. I believed in objective, verifiable truth, based on fact. I distinguished that from mystical religious truth, based on faith. I was a mainstream journalist for almost 10 years in the 1970s. Every professional journalist believed in objective verifiable truth based on... Read More »


Interesting Chart on Age as People Marry

by Tim Berry

Every so often I stumble on interesting statistics and good simple business graphics that show them. That applies to this line chart of Median age at first marriage by sex: 1890-2010 published by Imgur at, and developed by the U.S. Census: I’m intrigued with the way the marriage age dropped suddenly after the second... Read More »

World Economies

World Economies at a Glance: Infographic

by Tim Berry

This is something like an economic world map, nicely done, by International Business Guide. Reproduced here with permission. Source: International Business Degree Guide Read More »


Bad Advice on Data Decisions

by Tim Berry

Oh dear, there it is again: somebody else pushing data over common sense. Paul B. Brown, on, writes: data from your customers is always better than your best intuition. Wait, what? Did he really say that? Not that Steve Jobs was right on everything, but I can’t resist my favorite Jobs quote here: It’s... Read More »


The Power of One Simple Question

by Tim Berry

I like this. If you want real customer feedback, keep it simple. My friend Stephen Lahey, of Small Business Talent, understand email, and who he’s talking to, when he asks his small business owner clients one simple question: “When you think of me and our working relationship, what are the five adjectives that first come... Read More »


I Can Find Research to Prove Anything

by Tim Berry

One of these days I’m going to start a new consulting company based on the sad truth that in today’s world a good search turns up nice-looking data to prove anything. For example, you want eggs to be bad for you? We’ll find research to prove it. No? You want eggs to be good for... Read More »


Can Research Make You Dumber?

by Tim Berry

(Reposted with permission from my social media business plans blog) Can research make you dumber? It can if you believe it. I just read Can Facebook Make You Fat and Poor? on Mashable. It’s a post by David Mielach, of BusinessNewsDaily. In particular, the researchers found that social media users were more likely to binge eat and... Read More »