Business journals and newspapers for trend-spotting and articles about new products/services. Selected journals include: Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Industry and Innovation, Business Week, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and MIT Technology Review. (Check to see if the library has an electronic copy of a journal/newspaper.)
Patents. Reviewing recent patents can be a goldmine of ideas. The Engineering Library has excellent suggestions for patent research.
Lists of companies ranked by various criteria. Many publications such as Forbes, Inc. and Fast Company track fastest-growing and “top” companies in different locations or industries. Search library article databases such as Business Source Premier, ProQuest Direct and Factiva to find coverage of how other firms have made their mark.
Use Google Trends tool to see what is being searched for right now and what has been popular. Try searching "ipod" or "startups".
Will it be Internet-based? Will it have a production facility? Do you want to be near high income earners? Or perhaps choose a location that has certain demographics? Consider using the following tools for this all-important decision: