Your Next Big Thing: 5 great sources of business ideas

Written by Kara Aaserud

Boomer legacies Newcomers to Canada Green products and services Staff recruitment Web 2.0
Survey Says Hot export markets Is there room for you? 5 techs driving opportunity Hot products
Profitable paradoxes 5 sources of business ideas Innovation calisthenics

1. Wired magazine: The geek/futurist bible is packed with news of innovative concepts, especially from the twin idea factories in its home state of California: Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Its companion website ( offers exclusive stories, newsletters, blogs and podcasts.

2. Dutch trend expert Rainier Evers draws on a global network of 8,000 opportunity spotters to stock his vast database of ideas that are always inspiring, if not commercializable.

3. Statistics Canada: The Economist calls it “the world’s best statistical agency.” At, you can dive into details from the census, 350 active surveys or The Daily e-newsletter on topics as diverse as Canada’s slowing population growth and our skyrocketing blueberry consumption.

4. Iconowatch: This U.S. e-newsletter delivers bite-sized learning on consumer behaviour, including hard data (e.g., 47% of Americans plan to buy Christmas gifts online this year) and unexpected insights (e.g., most bar-goers under 35 try a different drink every visit).

5. Blogger and brand strategist Josh Spear of Boulder, Colo., pounds the global pavement to find truly original products. His visuals-rich site is especially strong on design, gadgets and the impact of technology.

Originally appeared on