Michael Mace is writing a book on business strategy. From the chapter on market segmentation for a new product:
The process is a little like the way that astronomers say the solar system was formed. You start with a big cloud of gas and dust. Small lumps and thick areas in the cloud slowly draw together under the influence of gravity. Wait long enough, and stars and planets will eventually emerge.
When you do research on potential new markets, youre searching around in the cloud for thick spots. The evidence will be vague and contradictory, and you can easily miss it if youre not careful. The trick is to look not for segments themselves, but for groups of people who share desires or other characteristics that you can mold into a new segment.