If you've landed here, perhaps it is because we’ve invited you to participate in a market study. We hope so, because our company, and therefore this website, is very much geared toward persuading knowledgeable people to contribute their viewpoint.
If you want to learn who we are—our background and the evolution of our small firm over its 26 year history (as of 2023)—please go to the Who We Are section.
But in this section, what's most important to us is that we answer questions you may have about whether it's worth scheduling a phone call to participate in the study we contacted you about.
We’ve done several hundred very high-quality, insightful market studies over the past few decades. The reason they’ve been so high quality and insightful is because we speak with such informed and experienced industry participants. That is the key to our success.
Naturally, in our age of spam and email marketing campaigns, folks sometimes hesitate to say yes when we reach out. (And the fact that we offer a financial gratuity may even make it worse—may cause folks to think it’s got to be some sort of scam. It’s not! The section on Who We Are should allay concerns.)
As you think about whether to accept our invitation, you may be wondering one or more of the below questions. So we’ve provided answers. If you don’t find the answer to what you’re wondering here, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to answer whatever question you have.
Q: Whom are we working for? And why?
A: A lender or investor. Their motivation is to learn from our study whether it’s a sound decision to lend to, or invest in a given industry.
Q: Who is our client—what is the lender or investor’s name?
A: We can’t tell disclose their name. We’re bound by a confidentiality agreement. One of the reasons they hire us—beyond the central reason that we’re experts at doing market studies—is that they can preserve in confidence the fact that they’re considering investing or lending. And so if they decide not to lend or invest, rumors will not have been created.
Q: What are the main objectives of our market study?
A: Of utmost importance is to make sure the industry/business model will be around for the long run. (That it won’t get disrupted, as in what Uber did to the taxi business, what Home Depot did to boutique hardware stores, or what Amazon did to bookstores.) Subsidiary to this are fundamental topics such as the size, growth rate, degree of cyclicality, and what’s most important for succeeding in this industry.
Q: Will we mention your name, or quote you, or tell anyone you provided input to our study?
A: No. Period.
Q: Are we interested in information that might compromise your company, or be sensitive in any way?
A: No. We are never interested in sensitive or confidential information, only the opinions and viewpoints of well-placed people as to overall, larger industry trends and fundamentals. In fact, if you are still in the industry (as opposed to formerly being in it), chances are very good we don’t want to speak about your company at all.
Q: We have heard folks say “I often get requests like this. Especially lately. Why should I speak with you?”
A: What’s different about us is we are two senior partners. (In fact, we are husband and wife—more on that in the Who We Are section). If other firms have reached out, chances are it was a junior person. If you speak with us, we promise it will be a lively and thoughtful conversation. (Not a survey, administered by a junior or inexperienced person.) We routinely hear folks say “This was very interesting; I enjoyed it.” Or “I actually got something out of this.” after speaking with us.
Folks also tend to want to stay connected with us. They’re eager to see our report, and they’re always impressed with it. (On a few occasions the connections we make help people land a new job.)
Sure, we also pay you a gratuity—a check as a token of thanks. (And there are no strings attached! Take some friends to a fancy dinner on us…whatever you like. And if you don't want the money for yourself, tell us a charity you would like us to contribute it to, and it will be our pleasure to do so.) But the main thing of value, people consistently tell us, is the intellectual stimulation of the conversation, and the quality of the report they get.
Q: What do we want your opinions on? Should you prepare?
A: We sought you out thoughtfully and deliberately; we guarantee there’s no reason to prepare. Your experience assures us we’ll learn from you.
Often times we’ll send you a few charts. After the first few days on a project we assemble our thoughts on things like how big an industry is, who the key participants are, and how they are positioned. So we’ll want your opinions on whether our charts look right or not, and what we need to change to make them more accurate.
If it’s the first few days of a project we will generally want a basic overview of what the business/industry is all about. What do customers care about? What attributes make a participant stand out and be differentiated? And the item that goes at the top of the list: will the business model/industry be around for the long run, or is there a disruptive force on the horizon?
Q: What industries/business models do we study—do we specialize in an area?
A: No, we don’t specialize in any area. In fact that’s part of why our clients like our approach—because we are not “experts” who simply repeat the conventional wisdom.
Industries we’ve done projects in include: pizzerias, jet engine repair, data centers, plumbing materials, toenail clippers, water well drilling for farm irrigation, waste to energy, gastroenterology…and over 600 others.
We hope you’ll speak with us! We are confident you’ll be happy you did. Everyone always says our reports are excellent and valuable. (Plus, the check we’ve offered ain't bad for 30 minutes, right?)
123 Dyer Street, Third Floor
Providence, RI 02903