Simple, but effective, basics
Some excellent places to gather intelligence on both an industry and the competition are: Trade Shows – Focus on the salesmen and discuss new technologies and upcoming news releases.
Conferences – Work on conference papers and the juries for those papers and interview them about the current state of the art and what is coming in the future. FDLP – These libraries are part of the Federal Depository Library Program and give excellent access to current research articles and doctoral theses. Reporters – Reporters, especially industry specific reporters, are excellent sources. Reporters like to be interviewed.
Education – Researchers in higher education understand the concept of publish or perish and are often at the cutting ó even the bleeding ó edge, of technology, and know what is happening where. Interviewing these people is a must, and can be more informative than any of the other source. Procedure – As with every research project, procedure must be followed. Each interview and document will lead to more sources of information and documentation. Follow the leads if they are determined to be relevant.