I started doing a bit of market research. This would be the more formal kind, since most people have some idea of what new technology looks like either through blogs they read, advertisements on TV or the internet, or things they hear from people they know. My version of formal research isn't really anything too interesting, but it's a starting point. I was browsing CNET, previously known as download.com and I realized that there are a lot of developers out there with products of one form or another.
I've been to download.com a lot of times in my life, but I've never been there before with the mindset that I might have a product in the same field as these other products. There are a lot of things to consider aside from the actual ideas that are posted to their site. I think one of the most important things that I noticed was the important of getting reviewed. The most popular products in each category got reviews. I don't know if they were popular because of the review or if they were reviewed because they were popular. What did seem obvious is that the poorly reviewed products didn't do as well as the ones with good reviews.
The other thing that I found fairly interesting were the types of things that the general public would post about in their comments. Comments can appear on any product and usually don't even refer to the actual review, but I still read the comments so that must mean something. People seemed the most concerned with how they felt the product treated them. The casual consumers were worried about the complexity of the directions while more experienced users all seemed to have a specific purpose in mind.