Skip to Main Content

TEM 441 - Product Development and Technology Management

This guide connects students in Product Development and Technology Management with library resources and services to support their work.

About this page

We’ve done our best to select the most pertinent materials for these Course Resources pages, but if these are not helping with your topic/project, we encourage you to use the Schedule an Appointment link in the Profile box on this page.

Resources for the Idea Thickening Process

Before anything else - a few tips on how to be a better researcher/searcher. Any fool can Google. You have a host of subscription resources available to you while you're here at the UR - learn what they are and how to use them most effectively and efficiently.

For the Product questions:  How unique? How concise? How protectable is it?  Try:

And of course lots of Googling (you're allowed to Google here ;). Additional ideas:  Craigslist and Angie's List (especially if you're thinking of a "service" idea) and maybe some checking in the article and news databases listed under Market, to get a sense of the "space."

Ah, the Market questions! (Is there a problem today? Is this a big problem?) - this is where library databases - and some free resources - shine. To "quantify the pain," you'll want to collect whatever statistics might demonstrate the size and scope of the problem your idea will solve. These might be demographic stats, industry stats, etc. This tab focusses on sources for Demographic data, Consumer data, and multi-purpose statistics databases. For Industry data see the Market 2 tab; for "funding"-type data see the Market 3 tab.

Next: is there an industry or market research report on or close to your idea available from our resources? Here are 3 "all purpose" industry/market research databases:


The following databases are our best resources for hi-tech or medical/pharma industry/market research:


If your idea is more consumer or "daily life products"-oriented, try:


But maybe there isn't a nice, prepackaged, someone-else-did-the-work-for-you report that is available from a library database. Then it's time to "comb for crumbs" from the article databases, picking up a number here, a factoid there. Yes, it's a lot more work - but who said this would be easy? Toughen Up! ;)

[Note: please, PLEASE do not Google for market research! You will probably find something that looks perfect but NO it is not accessible to us, and NO, sorry, I cannot buy that $7000 report for you...]

Business Article Databases:

Technical Literature Databases:

Comparables - who is in the space already? Are there any companies similar to yours? "Who recently bought who? for how much?" And, where are they? (if "where" matters)

As you can see by their descriptions, CB Insights and PrivCo provide information about deals, M&A, "who bought who and for how much" - but another source of this kind of information is MarketLine:


Last, to get an idea of "how many companies of this type are out there, and where are they?" - try the U.S. Businesses and U.S. New Businesses sections of Reference USA:

For the Team questions "Who's already committed? Can a full team be assembled?" - well... those probably can't be answered by library resources. For the question, "What does the team need to start working?" - again, that might be up to you to figure out, but if there's a business plan similar to your idea in the following resource, it might help:


For the question "Does this fit into a supply chain?" - maybe you need to learn something more about supply chains! :) Try the following:

And for even more... the following link runs a search in our library catalog to produce a list of books on "Business Logistics" (the formal name for "supply chains" ;)

And finally we come to the Business part of the hierarchy, and its questions. I'm not sure how you'd answer "Can each unit make a profit?" and "How much is already done? (Risks)" but "How long will this take?" and "How much money is needed?" might be approached using the following resources:

For "how long?" try CB Insights and/or PrivCo, find a company similar to your vision, and see how long it took THEM:

For "how much money..." you might again get ideas from your research in CB Insights or PrivCo; but to estimate specific costs, here are two ideas:

  • See if there is a business plan analogous to yours that includes a financial breakdown in the Business Plans Handbook, OR,
  • Determine a large public company that represents what you want to be "when you grow up." Look it up in OneSource, and make an educated downward revision of their balance sheet, income statement, etc. financials. 

General Entrepreneurship Resources