If everyone in the galaxy bought your offerings, that would be your TAM (Total Addressable Market). If you sell wheel lug nuts, don’t count the entire car. This is a common mistake.
If we were to look only at one planet, or continent or country or state or city and everyone there was to buy, that would be your SAM (Serviceable Addressable Market). Often, this is a function of language groups, regulatory issues, or supply lines. People tend to do okay on this one.
When we think of our first target customer type, that would be your SOM (Serviceable Obtainable Market). This is an identifiable kind of customer that you can target with your sales and market efforts and make whatever adaptations that group ends up needing. This is not some small undifferentiated percentage of some very big number. This is the other common mistake. A less frequent mistake is only to count your particular already identified individual early adopters.
It’s not hard to get this right once you know about it. Unfortunately, many books and other instructional materials fail to explain it properly.
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