Stage 3: Project Market Capabilities

IntroductionMethodology OverviewBest Practices Project AttributesMarket CapabilitiesMarket Readiness 


The focus on Market Capabilities in Stage 3 aims at capturing a project's potential from the point of view of a business customer. The market capabilities are an assessment of the project’s situation from a business perspective. 


The market capabilities are grouped in seven key categories: Product, Community, Support, Customers, Sales, Finances, Recognition. The table below details each of these categories. Note: this analysis may be biased in favor of commercially supported open source projects.

Market Capability Market Issue Addressed Scope 
Product EstablishmentWhat is the current status of the project from a market perspective? From a POC with no user to improving product with UX and APIs up to full, complete, stable product or range of products.
Developers and CommunityWho develops the software? Is the organisation robust? From research partners to active OSS team with occasional third party contributions up to broad active contributing community.
Professional SupportWhat kind of support can be expected when deploying and using the software?From no support at all to community best effort, commited bug fixing up to organized commercial support. 
User and Customer BaseWho uses this software? Are there customers? From no customer or users at all to broad community of users up to broad and expanding customer base.
Sales ActivityHow is the user/customer base growing? From no sales at all or random sales by founders up to sales from customer base and commercial partners.
Financial StabilityHow sound and sustainable are the project finances? From time-limited R&D subsidies and founders, friend and families up to appropriate financing and positive cash flow.
Market RecognitionWhat's the competitive position of the software? What efforts are made?From no market recognition at all and basic identity and website up to leadership recognition.

Data Collection

Market capabilities are collected via a structured expert interview with the project leader. For each category six situations are identified covering 42 business-related situations. For each category the project is associated to one of the six situations after discussion and in agreement with the project leader.

MKT-1Product EstablishmentNo-user, R&D, POCBeta, Packaged, DocumentationFull Q&A, Doc etc.UI, APIs and InteroperabilityProduct RangePlatform Sub-Project Generation
MKT-2Developers and CommunityResearch partnersDeclared OSSActive OSS project leaderOccasional third Party contrib.Regular third party contributorsBroad active project community
MKT-3Professional SupportNo supportHelp contact IdentifiedCommunity Best effortCommitted Bug fixingDirect commercial SupportDirect and partner Support
MKT-4User and Customer BaseNo customers nor usersEarly users, not customersFirst customersEarly customer baseGrowing customer baseEstablished customer base
MKT-5Sales ActivityNo salesRandom sales by foundersFledgeling sales by sales organisationSales from new customersRepeat business from customer baseSales from customer base and partners
MKT-6Financial StabilityR&D subsidiesFounders, Friends and FamilySponsor or professional early stageEarly stage plus customer moneyAppropriate financingPositive cash flow
MKT-7Market RecognitionNo market RecognitionBasic identity, WebsiteDeveloping MarketingActive MarketingMarket RecognitionLeadership Recognition


Computation is trivial since the result is an immediately normalised value between 0 and 5 in each category.


We do not publish the results of the Stage 3 interview since it is closely associated with the real objective of the whole exercise: the MRL score.

The final MRL score is obtained by combining the project's attributes (which themselves include reference to the best practices) with an asssessment of its market capabilities. 

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