It's the classic entrepreneur's pitch . . .
"It's a $100 billion market, and if we can get just 1% of it . . ."
Any guide to pitching investors will tell you that one of the first slides in your pitch deck should identify the size of your market. It makes sense. If you're an investor contemplating investment in a high risk startup, you want to see that your high risk investment is matched by an even higher reward, so the market has to be big, right? Or does it?
Like every other startup pitching potential investors, our pitch deck includes a slide on the size of the market. But here's the catch . . . in the case of the commercial real estate technology market, and many other industries for that matter, there are are not established metrics for market size. We know that it's a huge market - real estate is the largest asset class in the world. We also know that commercial real estate is one of the most antiquated industries, and is ripe for technological disruption. So we were left wondering, why does it matter?
Let's assume that someone comes around with an accepted industry standard to justify the size of the commercial real estate technology market. Does that mean that we're fighting for a piece of that pie? Do the incumbent commercial real estate technology companies have to lose business in order for us to succeed? We don't think so.
In growing industries, the size of the pie is meaningless. The true innovators are the people who reframe the way that others look at an industry, the entrepreneurs who grow the pie.
If all we're doing is taking market share away from our competitors, we're not transforming an industry, we're just temporarily shifting the market players. A really compelling service offering causes your customers to EXPAND their budget just so that they can obtain your service.