Research isn’t all that tough. But it is time consuming and the information deluge on the web doesn’t make it any easier.
I found this question on Quora: What is a good strategy when researching a topic? And thought it’s a nice segway into how to research.
What do you think?
Answer by Edwin Tam:
I find that there’s general and specific research.
In your case, you seem to be looking for specific information: e.g. did this invention exist? How do I know if my giga-watt-powered Oatmealy gadget can actually grind Oatmeal?
I usually do the following:
- Identify research dimensions: Environment, Competitors, Technology, Own
- Write a list of questions for each dimension
- Hit up the library/Google/Academic papers/forums to get answers quickly. This helps me winnow out unanswerable questions, specify questions, and develop other questions from the earlier list
- Repeat 3 until happy. But now, I look for stats, data, and if necessary, conduct some primary research (e.g. surveys etc). I’d usually give myself 3 days to do the research. Otherwise, screensuck!
- Review info. Develop insights and answers to your (now modified) Questions List.