How To Find Out What People Want

Over a month ago I posted a post regarding marketing research and tried to shed some light into doing one. While that post gives quite good guidelines on how to create a market reserach or a marketing research, I thought to write one more post with specific details on how to find out what people want.

There are many sites where you can see what people want, or what topics get lots of attention from the media. I’ve listed some specific sites below and explained shortly how I use them. You might know some or maybe even all, but I believe you might find some tips & hints how to benefit from using these sites.

What people want

43things.com – If you haven’t ever visited this site, do it now. I think this site is a great resource for anyone thinking about what people would like to get. Heck, you might even find ideas on what theme or game design you could integrate into your next project. In that site people basically write what they want. The more people want some specific things, the bigger the tag text in the page are. Remember to refresh the page to see new tags.

As I browse the page, I see big tags like “make new friends”, “be happy”, “travel the world”, “save money”. Do you have interest and experience into some of these topics? Like if you are one happy guy, then you might start thinking of establishing a site about being happy? Or perhaps you have good writing skills – and suitable background – so that you could even write a book about this subject? Or maybe you are really good at saving money. After you’ve picked a topic (that you really have genuine interest) you could take a look at other websites. By googling “save money” or “how to save money” you can get some picture about your competition.

Best selling games

Game-sales-charts.com – a fine site about top selling games at major gaming portals. There’s even a world map that displays best selling games in several portals at once. As you move your cursor you can get an idea on how well games sell. You can also see what areas have the most competition (if you are familiar with these games, and if you aren’t then go on and download those games), and can start thinking about unique ways to make yourself different.

Games sales statistics

GameProducer.net has listed games sales statistics. From these stats you can learn how these developers have marketed their game and see how well their games have sold. You can pick the best parts and create your own unique way on how to approach game production with sales in mind.

What’s popular

Have you checked the front pages of digg.com or technorati.com? At the time of writing iPhone and Wii seem to get lots of attention at digg and Vista at Technorati. These topics were technology centered, but you can see that Bush, MySpace, YouTube and other topics also get attention. If you have a website that needs content, you might want to check out what others are saying.

What’s happening

I have subscribed to several RSS feeds such as GamesIndustry.biz, GameSetWatch, BBC technology news – all these sites help me know what’s happening in the gaming and technology world. They help me know what information people are currently after. You might like to do the same: find sites that are relevant for you and subscribe to their RSS feeds.

I believe best way to gather information is to expand your current style: if you have always checked only Technorati top list and ignored other ways that’s fine, but perhaps you could use other ways as well? Maybe find couple of suitable RSS feeds where you could get more information? Or perhaps you can find some relevant information about the sales statistics. Maybe you can get ideas on what kind of solutions developers need by checking out those sales stats? It just might be that you can expand and improve your current way of gathering information and finding out what people really want and need.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. some interesting info on 43things.com site:

    43 out of 849,653 people want to learn C (is it SO hard ???)

    242 out of 849,653 people want to buy new computer (good that i moved from selling hardware to making games ;o)

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