The NYT published an article today on “Which start-up could be the next big thing?” Of course, who really knows. The NYT basically appears to be looking at “buzz.” But what we would really want is some forecast of potential demand.
This is where Google trends becomes useful. For instance, the NYT considers SnapChat and Whatsapp as two potential contenders. Both are in the same kind of market. Let’s see what they look like on Google trends.
It is clear here that Whatsapp is much more significant than Snapchat in terms of searchers people are making.
Here Thalmic are too early to get onto the searches although if you zoom in on them, they had an initial bump with Y-combinator and have been steady since. By contrast, Leap has been hit by news events whereas Oculus rift seems to have steadier growth.
Now consider Lyft. It seems to me that the right comparator is Uber.
Here we can see the Lyft is, on a fast trajectory but it is hard to compare as “Uber” isn’t a great search term so I used “Uber car” instead.
Finally, here is the data for Wanelo — something I hadn’t heard of before.
Hmm, it seems like that there was initial interest but it has waned. This is not a pretty picture for the next big thing.
Anyhow, as a final graph to whet your appetite take a look at this:
That one seems quite telling.