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INTRO The Dutch in Germany

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TheEngineer

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Jan 25, 2020
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Hi all! After following the forum for some time passively I decided to sign up and start contribute.

My name is Niels and living in Germany since 2 years, originally I'm from The Netherlands but I made the decision to move to Germany during my studies to pursuit my Automotive and engineering passion. The change has been of great value on both professional as well as personal level. Currently I've landed in a steady but slowlane job as a development engineer within the automotive field (Hybrid vehicle technology), the job is good and the payment ok.

My job is quite scientific and theoretical but in order to compensate for this I love to work at home on my own projects, from programming and developing electronics till making my own furniture (wood/metal) and my own Lotus 7 for which all "custom" components have been designed and made by myself, using my lathe and/or mill. I possess a lot of theoretical know how and practical skill but I somehow lack the skill to convert this to money as it seems I just don't see how I could serve the market, or add value to peoples lives with this.

However, together with my girlfriend we're currently performing a market research for a consumer product we have in mind. This product has nothing to do with my profession but is more related to furniture. At the moment the specific market already has some players competing with each other, but the niche/segment is over 40 years old in which the oldest player used to be the only player. They have created their product 40 years ago and have never improved upon the design apart from some small details. The reason for this from my point of view is that they didn't change their product because they have been the only player in the field, until 5 years ago. The new player on the market has brought a significantly improved product to the market, but my expectation is that there is still room for improvement and that the market is not saturated yet. Currently we're working on figuring out how big the cake actually is, and how the shares are divided over the different players in the market. This should answer the question if the cake is indeed, as expected, big enough for an extra player with some USPs over the competitors. Performing this quantitative market research is however harder than I expected at first, so if there are any tips on this, they would be very welcome :)

So what I hope to achieve on this forum is two fold. On the one hand I hope to gain information and inspiration from other fastlaners, but at a certain point in time I would love to be able to give that back to the community, because this would indicate that I have learned, as well as that I gained experiences along the road.

Best,
Niels
 

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lowtek

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Welcome aboard, Niels!

My market research is rather simple. Are other people making money doing what I want to do? If yes, then the next question is: what can I do better than them? If I have a solid answer for this, then it's a matter of wading into the market and seeing if it responds. I try not to get too bogged down in analysis, as it leads to paralysis and delays, and isn't likely to uncover any insights that I wouldn't get from actually doing the thing.
 

Champion

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Hey Niels, welcome to the forum!

As lowtek said, its very easy to get sucked into over-analyzing and things end up taking ages. If you have a possibility to test things quickly, then go for it. Also remember, even if you have an idea for a great product in mind, selling it is what will be the much harder part (compared to creating it).

My advice is this:

- Is there a company that dropships your product (or similar product, even if its an inferior version of the product you would like to sell one day?).

- If yes, go out into the market and start selling that product to get a feel for how much time, energy and money you actually need to put into selling a product in your market.

- Once you get a feel for things and you feel confident that you can make sales, begin working on creating your new and improved verison of the product

- Once your new product is ready, go out and sell it (you will already have the experience, by selling the old and worse version of the product from before!).

Keep costs as low as possible when testing.
 
OP
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TheEngineer

New Contributor
Jan 25, 2020
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Hi guys,

Thanks for welcoming and the advice. I'll try to stay out of going too deep in analysing the market and instead start creating and doing. Right now I'm working on the project after work and in the weekends as much as possible.

Cheers,
Niels
 

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