Trilogy Tidings
February 2014
in this issue
What does landscaping mean?
Who wants to know, and why?
So you want to be a landscaper?
What does Trilogy do?
Resources from our Archives
     This bitter winter encourages my thoughts of Spring landscaping -- well, actually landscaping research.

     So, you ask, what is landscaping research?  It's gaining an awareness of a market segment, a market, an industry sector, an industry, or a range of technologies that address these domains.  That's the "landscaping" I'd like to address this month.  This brand of landscaping research is an important -- perhaps essential -- business tool.  Spend a few minutes and hear me out.

What does landscaping mean? 
     It implies a broad view of the domain of interest, for example: 

       What products are available?

       What user needs do they serve?

       Which suppliers are out there, and how do they rank in importance?

       Who are the buyers, and why do they buy?

       What technologies predominate, and how will that change in the future?

       How large is the domain, and how is its size evolving?


     You get the idea.  I also believe that most people see landscaping as a high-level activity.  We're not trying to examine every product in detail, every nuance of demand, every technological twist.  We're just trying to understand .... well, the landscape.

Who wants to know, and why? 
     There are many situations in which landscaping is appropriate, but in my experience these are the most common ones:

       An investor may already know a great deal about a target company's financial status, business model, and personnel.  But the investor needs to understand the market to be served, its suppliers, its size and dynamics, and its predominant technologies before an investment can be judged a prudent one.  Study the landscape.

       A company is contemplating adding a new product to its line, but that product will clearly be serving a market or customer different from the status quo.  In other words, the initiative would be classified as a diversification.  A landscaping activity prior to a major investment in the new product is needed to avoid failure and to judge the scale of the opportunity.  Do it now, not later.

       A capable supplier serving a related niche is suddenly "on the block".  The potential acquirer must conduct due diligence quickly to determine whether an acquisition would be sensible, but little is known about the target's domain of activity or its offered technologies.  Call in the landscaping crew.

       Your own company or a potential licensor has "invented" something.  In order to establish the invention's value or whether intellectual property protection is even worthwhile, you need to examine the technological landscape for alternative methods and existing patents and patent applications.  Put your technical specialists to work.


     There are more situations in which landscaping is helpful if not vital.  But you get the idea.         

So you want to be a landscaper? 
     If you know little to start, or if the consequences are not dire, landscaping is really not so hard.  It doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming because much of the fundamental information you will need has been published somewhere and is free or available for a modest cost.  The good news is that there is a ton of information available, and some of it is likely to be relevant.  You just need to know where to look and how to judge its relevance and credibility.  Intelligence and some hard work can go a long way to meeting your needs.


     On the other hand, things get more dicey when you dive down from 30,000 feet to 15,000 feet; in other words when you get down to the nuance level, or you're trying to determine if a technological upset is imminent, or the consequences are in fact dire (like the survival of your company).  Then off-the-shelf information will be harder to find, and you'll have to talk to some "industry experts" and thought-leading users.  You will also likely need to bring some experience to bear in analogous situations and "parallel markets".  At some level human behavior and self-interest will drive the merits, so you must be sensitive to these influences.


Commercial Message

Trilogy Associates conducts landscaping research in a variety of markets and technologies for a variety of suppliers and investors.  We will not, however, plant your bushes or mow your lawn.


     Whether you seek assistance or not, learn to landscape.  You will sharpen your perceptions every time you do it, and you will impress your colleagues and friends with your insight!

What does Trilogy do? 
     Trilogy Associates facilitates business growth and renewal through commercialization of new products, providing the following services:
  • Opportunity assessment
  • Business planning and enterprise growth strategies
  • New-product conceptualization, commercialization and marketing
  • Market research and competitive assessment
  • Business development and partnering
  • Market and technological due diligence
  • Assessment of the therapeutic and diagnostic potential of novel technologies
  • Design of efficient and effective development strategies for early-stage biomedical products
  • Business and technical writing/publishing

     Inquiries to establish whether and how we might support your business initiatives are always welcome.  Contact us.

Resources from our Archives 
     Check out our Reading Room to view my published articles, presentations and white papers on a variety of topics.
     And, you can examine an archive of my prior newsletters (since February 2007).
Contact Information
Joseph J. Kalinowski, Principal