Preparation N22

Oct 4, 2023
4 minutes to read

Exploring What’s Growing in Industry Reports and Crunchbase

One of the best sources of business development ideas and hypotheses is to look at what’s growing.

The first source of analogs is industry reports and landscape maps. You can find a beautiful map of projects for almost any industry by googling “X startup map” or “X landscape.” Entertainment includes Dating, Community, and Social network within it.

Use queries like “X startup map,” where you replace X with Dating, Community, or Social Network.

You can also read industry reports; they contain a lot of statistics, interesting cases, and trends. Search using the query “X report 2022” or check out the following collections:

  • Trend reports from SpaceCadet.
  • Dealroom updates reports on various industries every quarter.
  • Trendhunter and Trendwatching are agencies that compile collections of emerging themes.
  • Exploding Topics reveal the queries that have significantly grown on Google recently.
  • The Hustle,, offer email newsletters with trends.
  • Snapchat Trends highlights topics gaining popularity on Snapchat.

The most extensive database of startups and investors is Crunchbase. They have a powerful query builder: you can filter startups by industry, location, stage, round size, and more. You can also find counterexamples – failed projects – by selecting the Closed filter. To get full access to the results, you need to subscribe, starting from $350 per year.

If you are interested in small and indie projects, Crunchbase may not be suitable – you need to explore side/bootstrapped project collections. Here’s a Notion sheet with such collections.


Write in the comments 1-2 projects that caught your eye in the dating niche.

Finding Analogues of a Liked Project. Using Lookalike Services. Discovering Communities.

If you already have a popular project in mind, you can quickly find its analogs using lookalike services:

  • Alternatives to popular software – AlternativeTo,, SaaSHub. You can also read customer reviews there.
  • Similar websites – SimilarSites, a tool from Similarweb.
  • B2B software alternatives – Capterra, G2. You can conveniently look for alternatives to mobile apps on AppMagic.

Searching for analogs on search engines can be challenging because the results are often too SEO-optimized. A useful hack is to look for alternatives on Reddit. Enter “site: alternative to X” in Google. If the service is popular enough, there will likely be discussions about its alternatives on Reddit. Plus, you’ll learn about user pain points.

Of course, nothing prevents you from initiating such a discussion yourself. Find a relevant community (subreddit), preferably an active and growing one – check the statistics on Subredditstats.

Learn the subreddit rules and post your query there. This way, you might even find the first customers for your future project. The founders of Discord found “a thousand fans” in gaming communities on Reddit.

Apart from Reddit, your target audience may be concentrated in another “nest.” Examples include:

  • Marketer Milk for digital marketers.
  • Reforge for product professionals.
  • Designer News for designers.
  • Academia for scholars.
  • Knoetic for HR.

You can find other communities by googling “online communities for X.” Niche communities can be an excellent platform for finding analogs and testing hypotheses.


Write in the comments 1-2 communities you’ve joined and explain why you chose these specific communities.

Staying Informed About New Analogs and Competitors. Subscribing to Media.

To stay informed about new analogs and competitors, subscribe to media channels. Typically, information flows through the following channels:

  • The quickest news appears on Twitter. However, it’s often challenging to separate signal from noise due to the high volume of information. The news then spreads to mainstream media outlets (TechCrunch, WSJ, etc.) and opinion leaders’ blogs.
  • In the startup sphere, the highest-quality resources are usually found in Substack newsletters and Medium articles.

Again, it’s nearly impossible to find them on Google, so use the same life hack with the search “site:” This way, you can discover excellent authors in your niche and subscribe to their updates.

You can also use researching competitors to verify your business idea and to see whether there is a demand for your product, site or services.


Write in the comments which 2-3 media/newsletters/founders you’ve subscribed to and why.


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