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Journalism - Quicklook Commercial Assessment: Quicklook - Step 1

Tips, techniques & links to help you find answers for your research papers & projects

Quicklook - Step I

Step 1 - Identify potential markets


  • If this is someone else's technology or idea for innovation contact the inventor/innovator
  • Brainstorm with others
  • Determine whether this product fulfills a market need
  • Identify similar products/technologies/innovations
  • Search for articles, patents, etc. (use licensed academic databases available through the libraries, Google Scholar, etc.)
  • Identify market barriers (market saturation, loyalty to existing brands, similar new product entries, capital, access, distribution, regulation, product development, etc.)

Typically the inventor/innovator is an excellent source for this information because they invented the product because it could not be found on the open market (usually) or the invention is the product of research that had specific goals in mind, e.g. to develop a better battery. It is also important to brainstorm with others because different backgrounds and experiences may point to more uses than the inventor specifies.

If it is difficult to identify how or where the invention could be used, identifying similar products may give some clues to utility of the product. If the identified markets are obscure or the usefulness of the invention is not clear, a database search may indicate new markets or avenues of research.

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