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MDST 2011 Disruptive Entrepreneurship in the Internet's New Economies: Understanding Business Research

A guide to conducting business research for disruptive entrepreneurship.

Business research comes in the following formats

  • Market, company, and industry reports
  • Trade articles like Forbes, Hollywood Reporter, Broadcasting & Cable
  • Market, company, industry, and consumer data
  • Academic/scholarly articles aren’t always used

The amount of information on topics varies

  • Easier to find information on bigger, more established entities and public companies
    • Examples: Apple, Netflix, Casper, LUSH, TikTok (ByteDance)
  • Niche, small, and new entities, and private companies, requires piecing together information
    • Examples: Everlane, Clare Paint
      • Lack of company information; might need to rely on trade articles and industry reports, sometimes key stakeholders

Brainstorm Your Topic

Before searching, gather basic information about your disruption and how it’s situated in the business world. Wikipedia is a good place to find background information. 

A table of components of a business with examples of each component using Apple Watch as an example.
Components of a Business Example (These are your search terms)
Industry- The highest level of classification

Consumer technology

Sub-industry Smartwatches; fitness trackers; activity trackers; watches; wearables
Ultimate Owner / Company / CEO Apple, Inc.; Tim Cook
Brand / Product / Product Developer Apple watch; Kevin Lynch
Consumers Young adults with disposable income; early adapters


APRD, Communication, Journalism, and Media Studies Librarian

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Stacy Gilbert