The Hidden $25M Market – The Power of User-based Research

The Challenge

A client was interested in launching a high-end, low-light level microscope camera into the semiconductor arena, a market not known for using that level of technology. Early phone consults suggested other alternatives, but the client was interested in pursuing this direction further.

The Solution

The client hired MME, the MIP’s precursor, to conduct a floor review at ISTFA, a key tradeshow for semiconductor failure analysis.  The goal:  To scope out the competition and define key low-light level applications.  Additionally, we encouraged the client to put a question on a User study we were conducting at the meeting, from our own booth.  The client declined, but we snuck a question on the survey anyway:  The end user always has an interesting perspective and often surprises even the most seasoned veteran.


The show floor review revealed only one potential competitor, who was exhibiting reluctantly. During conversations with their sales staff and a major dealer, both warned that this niche was not a good potential fit. However, that sneaky question posed on the User-based study told a very different story.  Coupled intelligently with other data from the same survey, it revealed a $25M worldwide market for these higher-end imaging systems in semiconductor failure analysis.

Investment: < $2000
Uncovered market: $25,000,000


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