New Business Opportunities

If you are thinking of starting a new business, then the first and most important question you need to answer is this:

Is there a market for what I want to sell, and is that market likely to be big enough for me to make money selling to it?

Your product may change over time; your market may change over time; you may sell off your business to someone who can do the selling (or the making) better than you can.  At the end of the day, though, if no one wants what you have to offer, then your most brilliant idea, your wonderful patented thing, won't do you or anyone a bit of good.

Often underestimated as a potential customer is the government of the United States of America.  The government gets larger, the government gets smaller, but the government (pace some in the Tea Party, and some Libertarians) is not going away.  If you want to sell a new medical device, for example, then you will need to get your device into the reimbursement systems, not only for private insurers, but also for the government (service-related insurance and non-service related insurance, or both).

If you want to know what the government is buying or wants to buy, and what the government will pay for, then check out this site, and learn to love it: 

The Federal Procurement Data System.


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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at] Mike also blogs at, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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