Technology innovations have significantly changed our lives during the last decade. New opportunities arrive every day and thanks to the Internet you don’t have to be in Silicon Valley to keep track of new trends. Here is the list of sixteen online services, apps, articles, and resources that will help you to track new business trends and find new opportunities.
1. Exploding Topics — free online service that shows search statistics for fast-growing topics people are searching on the Internet. It relies on sources like Google Trends. The service also sends weekly newsletters with growing topics selected by its algorithm, each topic contains a graph and a short description and “how to take advantage” note from the editor.
2. Get Glimpse – free and paid monthly newsletter dedicated to exponentially growing trends. Each newsletter contains a graph showing the popularity of the trends during the last 5 years and annotation for every trend. Annotations usually include 1-page analysis, market overview, and description of the market landscape. A wide range of trends is covered from new shopping behaviors to financial services.
3. Hustle Trends – weekly paid newsletter and free website similar to previous services but sending more frequent updates about new trends and opportunities for startups. The newsletter required a paid subscription. The content is curated by a team of experienced editors, and the service is founded by The Hustle online magazine dedicated to startups and technology news. Paid users are also getting access to a private Facebook group.
4. Google Trends – free online service from Google that tracks and shows the popularity of keywords and phrases people search on the Internet. Many other services are actually using Google Trends for their analysis. This free service shows selected search phrases on the main page and you can enter your own keywords or phrases, see up to 15 years of search activity and filter by country, state and see related searches.
5. US Census Wholesale – free monthly statistics about inventories and sales published by US Census based on surveys from wholesale sellers.
6. FRED Mobile App – a free mobile app for iOS and Android with updates on the nation’s key economic indicators based on the signature database of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and on the Census Bureau’s 13 economic indicators. The app provides free access and tracking for nearly 670,000 economic data series from 89 regional, national, and international sources.
7. What Will Happen In The 2020s – the optimistic review of ten major trends in the technology and innovation that are projected to change our life during the next decade as seen by Fred Wilson (Union Square Ventures).
8. Life in 2030 – Frank Chen, investor, and partner at the successful Andreessen Horowitz (A16) investment fund, has described how the day in the life of his daughter will look like in the 2030 year. Video version and text versions are available.
9. Tech Trends from 2020 – Sixty technology and innovation trends described and discussed by Daniel Eckler, Director of Innovation at Buzzfeed. Each trend is illustrated by a few related articles as “signals”, the author also wrote about the current state of that trend and where it is currently going to.
10. WSJ The Future of Everything – Wall Street Journal is publishing interviews with futurists and experts discussing how people will live and work in the next years and next decades. Also, WSJ runs an annual festival called “Future of Everything Festival” and you may watch talks from this festival here
11. CBInsights Trends – CBInsights analytics service that serves venture capital firms is publishing regular articles with analysis of new trends. You can also subscribe to their free newsletter with 500,000+ subscribers.
The famous saying from YC Combinator startup accelerator is “Make what people want“. But how to find what other people want? The best and the fastest way is to talk to your friends, co-workers or even random people at Starbucks. But how to find what people want in other parts of the world? Luckily, there are few ways through social media and specialized websites.
12. #requestforstartup, #requestforproduct and #somebodypleaseinvent hashtags on Twitter– you will find discussions of various ideas and things some people would like to see live and maybe even pay for it! Though be aware that some of these requests can serious and some of them can be funny like “please invent another day between Saturday and Sunday“.
13. “Request for Startups” lists – these are the lists compiled by established companies or investors. They usually put topics and trends they would want to invest in. Here is RFS (Request For Startups) from YCombinator (startup accelerator Dropbox, Airbnb, Reddit, and many other startups have gone through). Some established companies are publishing their own RFS lists. For example: “fin-tech request for startups” list from Plaid fin-tech company, and the request for startups for remote teams from Earnest Capital, also there are a lot of forums like this or this where Internet users are describing their needs for some products or services. Also, you can simply Google for “request for startup” for more lists like these
14. Shut Up and Take My Money – the community on Reddit discussing things and ideas that they would immediately pay for. This community is dedicated mostly to hardware and physical products.
Thankfully, there are some offline methods too:
15. Participate or run your own Design Thinking class – Design Thinking is the approach to quick prototyping and testing of ideas invented by Stanford d.School. Watch Virtual Design Thinking Crash Course video and check Design Thinking Bootleg and Translated Resources
16. Get out of the building – serial entrepreneur and investor Steve Blank suggests a simple and radical way to find new opportunities and trends. Shocking, he suggests getting out of the building and talk to people outside.
This article is written by our featured writer Eugene Mironichev, an expert in software products and team management (published a book in 2017), Forbes writer and speaker at tech and business conferences.