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    Handy websites



    Brainchild of trend spotter Reinier Evers, Trendwatching.com mobilizes savvy people everywhere to scan their part of the globe for business ideas, consumer insights and behavioural trends. The results of these “springspotting” forays are formed into a free, monthly opinionated newsletter, predicting the next big thing or awakening the sleeper.

    Current movements to watch out for include “twinsumerism”, where consumers rely on the advice of their taste ‘twins’ – “fellow consumers somewhere in the world who think, react, enjoy and consume the way they do”.

    Firmly established is “tryvertising”, where punters can try products in the relevant setting. Think luxury car manufacturers offering their latest model to hotel guests to test drive during their stay.

    Trendwatching.com is a generous website. Lots of insightful, colourful content, all of which can be pilfered and re-published, no questions asked, as long as it’s attributed to the site. If you know a sharp idea when you see one, you too can become a springspotter, earning kudos and points to redeem at the online gift shop.

    The company also organises trend seminars and corporate sessions, to educate the behemoths and those a bit slow to catch on.

    An entertaining must-read for anyone close to the cutting edge: marketers, retailers, entrepreneurs, startups, product managers, investors, the list goes on.


    See the future on the personal site of robotics engineer, futurist, and all round genius, Ray Kurzweil. You’ll be amazed by Kurzweil’s vision, as presented in dozens of published reports and articles with compelling titles, such as How to build a human brain.


    An extremely useful tool that will uncover almost any mystery in no more that three mouse clicks, from how the price of petrol is determined to the way arrhythmia affects the heart’s standard electrical conduction system. You can never be too knowledgeable. Sodarace.net Sodarace is staging the online Olympics, pitting human creativity against machine learning. The aim is to design robots, using the Sodaconstructor virtual construction kit, that race over 2D terrains. Well worth exploring.


    Alibaba is your primary resource for developing international business relations. Find companies looking to import your product or export theirs, along with daily updated buying and selling leads. If you want to be a player in the global economy, this is the place to start.


    With the development of Zopa.com, you are no longer reliant on conglomerate lending houses or personal credit cards. Zopa.com is a peer-to-peer fi nance lending site. Become a lender and decide your own level of risk versus reward, or borrow at a surprisingly low interest rate.


    Ewing Marion Kauffman is a name that every entrepreneur should know. The Kauffman Foundation is an organisation solely devoted to entrepreneurship and, in particular, promoting entrepreneurial education. Entreworld.org is the site where it all comes together. An extremely resourceful tool if you’re launching your own venture.


    If you don’t have time to read a book, but fi nd yourself charging up a Stairmaster each day, you might want to consider an Audible.com subscription. Download a novel or newspaper to your mp3 player, narrated for your listening pleasure – consider it insight on the run.


    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) rates highly on the list of top universities and is well known for its Entrepreneurship Faculty. An initiative called Open Courseware now publishes all lectures from the previous year online, so you can enlighten yourself.

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