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Niche Market


Namespace: SoftwareEng
What Is A Niche Market?

A niche market is a narrowly defined group that includes all of the following:
source: http://www.glasspoole.com/sm09.html

Another take: A niche or target market is a group of potential customers who share common characteristics making them especially receptive to your product, service or opportunity.

Source: http://www.bizine.com/niche.htm
A Niche Market is a very narrowly defined subsegment of the total population that have characteristics in common.
See also: Niche Market Characteristics
I did not read the links, assuming that the salient point(s) were reproduced here.
But no matter how I slice it, the best that I can come up with is that the VFP product itself may be a "niche market" for Microsoft but the market for applications developed using VFP can hardly be called a "niche".
American Express is currently running commercials here where they claim that 99% of businesses in America are small businesses. This can hardly be called a "niche".
It is my contention that we denigrate ourselves by endorsing that VFP's best description is that we are in (or serve) a "niche market". Our applications do not serve only limited well defined groups like collectors, poodle owners, pony enthusiasts and the like. VFP applictions may well be in those markets, but none of us are beating on each other to claim the limited sales those represent. -- Jim Nelson

By that rationale, Harley Davidson motorcycles and Ferrari automobiles are not niches because automobiles and motorcycles are used in all sorts of situations by all sorts of people for all sorts opf applications, and since these are niches therefore both these conceptually represent limited sales and profitability. Sorry, I don't buy it. Also the point is not that VFP is not so much a "niche market" for Microsoft but that VFP developers occupy a niche in the application development space.-- Steven Black

No, I don't think your examples are correct. Their sales are limited, no doubt. And I strongly suspect that those companies limit their advertising to specific markets where they feel that sales are more likely. This qualifies them as "niche" to me, but the important distinction is that they do it to themselves.
This is why I say that Microsoft may treat VFP as a "niche". They have stated outright that their marketing is limited to existing users, so at the very least they are attempting to limit VFP's scope. Microsoft has been working to 'nichize' VFP but that does not mean that VFP's users have to also label themselves with that status.
A Ferrari is a Ferrari is a Ferrari but a VFP application can be almost anything that can be accomplished using a computer and a VFP application can serve countless objectives in countless settings. -- Jim Nelson

I guess you and I are talking about different things then -- Microsofts marketing of VFP as opposed to developers marketing themselves. These probably should go into separate discussions in the VFP name space.-- Steven Black

If separate discussions is the way to go, then by all means.
My concern is that readers not interpret "VFP is (in) a niche market" with the notion that 'therefore VFP developers serve a niche market'. I know that I have previously interpreted your characterization of VFP as being (in) a "niche market" as applicable to all of us and all that we do, so clearly I was confused by the attribution.
The "developer space" would, indeed, make "niche" applicable to MS' designs for the product. The developer space likely has VB as the majority language. That might make any other language a "niche" product. I can accept that, but again suggest that "niche" is applicable to the product itself and not the developers' products. -- Jim Nelson
Contributors: Steven Black
Category Business
( Topic last updated: 2002.09.03 02:58:17 PM )