If you’re planning on launching a new hardware start-up or striking out on your own as an entrepreneur, then you should be taking every opportunity possible to seek out and consume as much information as you can. The more information you can take on board early on, the better equipped you will be to create a great business plan, to offer something unique that will find its market, and generally to make your venture successful.
This means not just seeking out the answers to specific questions you may have, but also just generally ‘reading around’ the subjects of business, invention and entrepreneurialism so that you can get advice and ideas that you may not even have thought of. A great way to do this is to create yourself an online reading list of blogs and websites that you can check on a regular basis (perhaps over your morning cup of coffee). So if you are currently planning a start-up, here are ten great blogs that can help you get started…
The first site you should add to your reading list is the Kickstarter blog. Kickstarter is of course the biggest crowdfunding site on the net, and the place where a lot of new businesses and hopefuls will go to find funding and vindication for their ideas. Reading the blog will not only keep you informed about all the deals and offers you can take advantage of on the site itself, but will also spotlight the various concepts and ideas that others have used successfully, many of which are highly inspiring.
Kickstarter isn’t the only crowd-funding site on the block though. Indiegogo is the SEGA to Kickstarter’s Nintendo and is also a great option for start-ups and businesses with big ideas or who just want to read about them. Indiegogo has a slightly smaller community and a more ‘indie’ and artsy feel, so it’s a great place to get some inspiration for those creative juices.
Defining Lifehacker is tricky because it offers such a range of ideas. In general though, all of these ideas are aimed at improving your life and helping you to increase your productivity and efficiency through the use of smart inventions. Not only can it help entrepreneurs to get more from their work days, but it’s also a great place for inspiration and ideas.
Instructables is a site that showcases smart inventions and creations and that teaches a range of different skills. It’s another great place to find inspiration and see the ingenious creations others have contributed, but it’s also a brilliant place to visit if you want to learn skills as diverse as animatronics and cooking. For those with a little more free time on their hands, there are a ton of e-books available to download for free too.
The Personal MBA
The Personal MBA is a blog from Josh Kaufman who aimed to teach himself everything you’d conventionally expect to learn in an MBA course and share all that information online. It’s a brilliant place to get some easy business lessons, to find suggestions for further reading and to learn the systems that fuel business.
Entrepreneur is a blog or ‘ezine’ aimed at entrepreneurs, big surprise. The site offers a wealth of information and advice as well as a lot of interesting features. There are regular posts from none other than Richard Branson too which always make great reading.
From the founders of the fabulous Maker’s Faire, Makezine is a site devoted to ‘digital projects, hardware hacks and D.I.Y. inspiration’. These guys have been involved from the beginning in creating the ‘Maker’ space. Makezine is an awesome site for makers filled with great ideas, handy information and useful videos. If you have any chance to attend their Maker Faire in SF or NY (http://makerfaire.com/) make it happen. It’s an awesome experience for both business and pleasure.
Small Business Trends
Small business trends is a great blog for owners of small businesses looking for industry news as well as the usual selection of highly relevant tips and advice. The site focuses on the core data and strategies critical to success across a wide range of small business industries.
There are a ton of 3D printing sites out there, most of which have their own blogs. Shapeways has to be the Daddy of them all though making this one of the best places to see the things others are making with digital manufacturing tools as well as to catch up on industry news.
Brazen Trunk’s Brazen Careerist
If you’ve had your fill of learning for one morning, then here’s a bit of light relief instead. Brazen Trunk’s Brazen Careerist is a blog from Penelope Trunk that has the usual range of business tips, but that which also throws in some more candid posts about her experiences of life as a business woman. There’s a lot to relate to here and she offers some sage wisdom in her anecdotes, so well worth seeking out.
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